Year-on-Year Dengue Cases Drop Sharply

Dengue fever deaths and infections have fallen dramatically during the first two-and-a-half months of this year compared to the same period in 2013, according to the government’s latest figures.

Nhan Chantha, head of the Health Ministry’s national dengue control program, said his staff recorded one death from the mosquito-borne virus during the first 14 weeks of the year and 240 infections.

This marks a sharp drop from the 11 deaths and 1,628 infections the Health Ministry recorded during the first 14 weeks of 2013.

Mr. Chantha attributed the decline to a number of factors, including the absence of early rains, more public awareness of preventative measures and built-up immunity from the previous dengue season.

But he warned that the low early numbers should not lull anyone into complacency, with the peak of the dengue season yet to arrive.

“We can’t really say if it is going to stay this way,” he said. “The outbreak can happen anywhere and at any time.”

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