PHNOM PENH, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia reported 15,597 dengue fever cases in the first six months of this year, a 239 percent rise from 4,604 cases at the same period last year, according to the report of the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control on Wednesday.
During the January-June period this year, the disease had killed 60 children, up from only 23 deaths at the same period last year, the report said.
The province with the highest death toll is Banteay Meanchey with 14 deaths, followed by Siem Reap 7 deaths and Kampong Thom 6.
Dr. Char Meng Chuor, director of the center, said the disease burst out in a large scale once in every five years.
He recalled that the disease burst out in 2007, killing 407 children.
This year, to prevent the outbreak, the center has distributed some 270 tones of Abate (a chemical substance used to kill larvae in water pots) to households, he said.
Dengue is caused by mosquitoes. The disease causes an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands and rash.
In Cambodia, the outbreak of dengue fever usually begins at the onset of the rainy season in May and lasts until October.
Last year, the country reported 15,980 dengue fever cases, killing 73 children.