PHNOM PENH, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- At least 124 Cambodian children were killed by dengue fever in the first eight months of this year, a 158 percent rise from only 48 deaths in the same period last year, according to the report of the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control on Saturday.
Some 30,760 dengue fever cases were reported during the January- August period this year, an increase of 179 percent compared with 11,020 cases in the same period last year, the report said.
The province with the highest death toll is Banteay Meanchey with 20 deaths, followed by Siem Reap with 18 deaths and Kampong Cham with 16.
Dr. Char Meng Chuor, director of the center, said that among the fatal cases, 70 percent of the patients died of gastrointestinal bleeding.
"There were more deaths this year because parents had sent their sick children to private clinics first. When the treatment was ineffective and the disease became more severe, they continued to send them to public hospitals, but it was too late for them to be cured," he said.
Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The disease of sudden onset usually follows symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands, vomiting and rash.
In Cambodia, the outbreak of dengue fever usually begins at the onset of the rainy season in May and lasts until October.
Char Meng Chuor said that to prevent the outbreak, the center has distributed some 270 tons of Abate (a chemical substance used to kill larva in water pots) to households this year.
Last year, the country reported 15,980 dengue fever cases, killing 73 children.