Cambodian dengue fever kills 170 children through October

Cambodian health officials reported at least 39,290 cases of dengue fever between January and October, representing a 163 percent increase from the number of cases the previous year.

The country's National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control announced on Tuesday a drastic increase from the 14,918 cases it reported during the same period in 2011. The disease killed 170 children in Cambodia, a rise of 154 percent from 67 deaths in the first 10 months of 2011, reports.

Char Meng Chuor, the director of the center, said that the increase in deaths was because of the way parents handled their children's illnesses. Chuor said that parents sent sick children to private clinics first and, after ineffective treatment and severe illness, the parents went to public hospitals. By that point, it was too late for the hospitals to cure the children, Chuor reports.

The patients were between the ages of five and 14 years of age.

Dengue fever outbreaks in Cambodia typically occur at the beginning of the rainy season in May, lasting through October. The center distributed approximately 320 tons of Abate, a chemical pest killer, to households throughout the year.

Dengue fever is a disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that causes fever, headache, exhaustion, swollen glands, joint and muscle pain, vomiting and rash, reports.