Chikungunya has spread to 12 provinces across the Kingdom, with over a thousand patients testing positive for the vector-borne disease between July 19 and 31, the Ministry of Health announced on Saturday.

Of the 1,020 cases, of which 562 were women, over 80 percent occurred in Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham and Preah Vihear provinces, according to data from the National Center for Malaria Control, Parasitology and Botany. A small number of cases were also reported in Oddar Meanchey, Tboung Khmum, Takeo, Kampot, Kampong Som, Pursat, Stung Treng and Pailin provinces, the centre said.

The Health Ministry reported the province with the highest cases of chikungunya was Siem Reap with 407 cases, followed by Banteay Meanchey with 211 and Kampong Cham with 132.

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said: “The measures to prevent the spread of chikungunya are similar to preventing dengue fever. You must avoid getting bitten by female mosquitos carrying the virus by removing all mosquito-breeding grounds, use repellent and hang mosquito nets where you sleep,” he said.

Bun Heng urged anyone with a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius to go to the nearest public hospital instead of trying to self-medicate.

Provincial department of health director Kros Sarath said yesterday Siem Reap is witnessing its first outbreak of the virus in a province usually threatened by Dengue.

Bou Sarin, chairman of the Dengue Fever Programme at the Siem Reap provincial health department, said in response he has carried out mosquito-killing campaigns in Siem Reap city as well as Prasat Bakong and Chikreng districts.

Over 1,000 diagnosed with chikungunya - Khmer Times