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Dengue Fever

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand’s rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests

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Social distancing and lockdown measures may have contributed to a rise in dengue fever in Thailand, according to a recent study funded by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council.

Researchers, which included scientists from the University of Singapore, examined dengue fever cases in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. No impact on the dengue transmission was found in Malaysia or Singapore, but in Thailand, they found that social distancing may lead to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. They say the largest impact is in Bangkok Researchers say social distancing is expected to lead to 4.32 additional dengue fever cases per 100,000 people in Thailand each month.

Many people in Thailand stayed at home during lockdown measures put in place to control the spread to the coronavirus, but the study found that people in Thailand are typically bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitos at home rather than at work. Some people even travelled back home to their home provinces to be with their families during the lockdown period.

“Although it is possible for dengue infections to occur in workplaces, it was found in one study that 60% of dengue cases live less than 200m apart came from the same transmission chain, revealing that residential areas are a focal point of transmission.”

Reported dengue fever cases in 2019

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by Thaiger

Reported dengue fever cases in 2020

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by Thaiger

To read the full study click HERE. 

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Remo

    Friday, October 30, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    59 people died due to Covid in Thailand , but about 20 000 dies in road accidents every year.

    If they keep the country closed, then why dont they ban road trafffic too?

    It is much more deadly than Covid.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      Friday, October 30, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      We fail to see how you can compare a voluntary pastime or necessity for some, with an involuntary virus. What’s the connection?

      • Maverick

        Friday, October 30, 2020 at 7:01 pm

        I think the comparison is response to the crisis – if the govt feels it necessary to protect the public from a virus which kills only the elderly and obese, why not take action to prevent far more road deaths the roads are a killer which does not discriminate it kills many young , healthy and economically active citizens..

      • Allegedly

        Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:00 pm

        ALLEGEDLY?

      • Diego

        Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:13 pm

        The connection is the same government applying quite different rules when it comes to protect its people. You see Thai people driving recklessly, without helmets and without driving licenses. There’s little to none effort from the government to change that, and yet we see lots of being done not only to contain the spread of virus, but to limit freedom too.

      • Nik

        Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:37 pm

        The connection is that you don’t lockdown the world for a common life risk.
        Especially with a fatality rate of 0,1 – 0,3%, according to a recent WHO bulletin study,investigating about 60 studies

        • Manu

          Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 11:10 am

          …and according to a study from an eminent professor from Standford Uni, reviewed by many of his piers and pusblished by WHO, 99.6% of people dying from Covid-19 are over 70.

          I think that the comparison is very pertinent. If, let’s say in Thailand only, all these restrictive measures that will cause in the long (and even short now) term huge collateral damages are there to protect the people, then surely they should do something to protect the people on the roads, the first measures to take in Thailand are currently so obvious (compulsory helmet, etc…). But they do not it.

          Also, smoking kills over 7 million people every year worldwide according to WHO. Why is nothing done about it (tobacco industry is another one that really care about people)? And please do not come with the argument that we are free to decide to smoke or not, currently the word freedom is not quite respected and does not seem apparently to be part of the “new normal” they all talk about.

          But with Thailand planning to vaccin half of the population, and Thailand apparently will be the manufacturer of it for SE Asia for some Pharmaceutical Big Corporation, it is obvious that this covid-19 crisis is not going to be a financial loss for everyone. Not to mention masks, tets, tablets, etc… all this is not free, someone is cashing out everytime.

          Finally there were over 60 000 cases of dengue fever so far this year in Thailand with 41 deaths. Very tempting to make a comparaison with other numbers we have been bombarded with the past 8 months…

          • Issan John

            Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 6:23 pm

            “… it is obvious that this covid-19 crisis is not going to be a financial loss for everyone. Not to mention masks, tets, tablets, etc… all this is not free, someone is cashing out everytime.”

            Well, that’s what happens everywhere in the world that has a market economy; the alternative being communism so that everyone earns the same whatever they do, which has hardly proved a success anywhere.

    • Issan John

      Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      Continually banging on about this as if Thailand has no regulations on its roads is more than a bit shortsighted.

      Agreed, Thais are amongst the worst drivers in the world and the roads among the most dangerous, but there are still rules which most obey, most of the time: driving on the left side, one way, traffic lights, speed limits, etc.

      Banning road traffic is an impossibility in the 21st century as most people would be unable to survive; closing the borders isn’t, and as a result most will survive.

      • Dreamon

        Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 4:50 pm

        In 21st century everything is still possible, some country still have a monarchy or a dictatorship, so why not ban road traffic?

      • murika

        Monday, November 2, 2020 at 12:50 am

        24000 death per year on the road in thailand
        254 in france (equivalent size and population)

        something could be done…

  2. Terrence

    Friday, October 30, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Paragraph 2 needs proof read. “Social distancing leads to an increase of coronavirus” pretty sure you mean dengue.

  3. Al

    Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 1:54 am

    Anything to scare the beJezzus outta good folks……
    What’s next? The sun is grabbing your air? The clouds are growling at you? For goodness sake, don’t look into the mirror or go into the sea! (That Jaws Movie music pops up…… or is it the famous words at the end of ‘Apocalypse Now’ by Brando? (Also from Conrad’s famous book)….’The Horror, the Horror…..’)
    Take you pick……;)

  4. Issan John

    Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    “…and according to a study from an eminent professor from Standford Uni, reviewed by many of his piers and published by WHO, 99.6% of people dying from Covid-19 are over 70.”

    The inference being that there’s nothing to worry about unless you’re over 70?

    Unfortunately while your statistic’s correct, the inference isn’t.

    To quote from a recent article in the BMJ “data on deaths from COVID-19 show an association with age that closely matches the “normal” age-related risk of death from all other causes that we all face each year”.

    A separate Japanese study reached a similar conclusion, that “the age distribution of mortality from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) suggests no large difference of susceptibility by age”.

    In other words, whatever the chances are of you dying at 10, 20, 50 or 70 from any other cause, you’ve got a similar chance of dying from Covid-19.

  5. Issan John

    Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    ” if the govt feels it necessary to protect the public from a virus which kills only the elderly and obese, why not… etc …”

    “The connection is that you don’t lockdown the world for a common life risk.
    Especially with a fatality rate of 0,1 – 0,3%, according to a recent WHO bulletin study …”

    The problem isn’t ONLY that it “kills only the elderly and obese”, even if that were true. The fatality rate is only PART of the problem, and the other issues are overlooked / deliberately ignored by those following this line:

    In order to keep the fatality rate down, the worst cases have to be hospitalised – in Europe that means over half the hospital beds and most of the ICUs being increasingly taken up by Covid-19 cases. Those beds and ICUs are then unavailable to those others needing them , whose treatment is postponed or cancelled.

    In order to keep the fatality rate down, governments have no option but to impose and enforce lockdown measures; if they don’t the virus spreads and the fatality rate rises. While a fatality rate of “0.1 to 0.3%” may be “low”, that’s still one to several hundred times worse than the fatality rate for flu which Covid is often compared to and unchecked the fatality rate would spiral exponentially.

    While 80% are asymptomatic, 20% aren’t and they experiece symptoms that prevent them from working or having a normal life. That’s made worse not only by the contagion rate but, paradoxically, because those with flu are more likely to be affected and symptomatic. As those with flu are nearly all symptomatic so they’ll tend to be off work and to isolate, stopping the disease spreading, while most of with Covid-19 are asymptomatic so they’re still spreading the disease.

    Only looking at the problem from the perspective of those dying as a direct result is naive at best and deliberately ignoring reality at worst.

  6. Issan John

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    It’s a very well conducted and interesting study, reading the original, but unfortunately it ended before the lockdowns were lifted which, given time, would have shown if there was any return to normality / previous figures so confirmed the conclusions.

    Had that been done, they’d have found that the infections didn’t fall over time even several months after the lockdowns were lifted so contradicting the conclusions they reached.

    Regrettably they didn’t look at possible alternative reasons for any rise in dengue fever cases, only lockdown. hHd they done so they would have probably seen that an economic downturn would mean workers in Thailand, particularly construction workers, either spending more time in their ‘shanty’ accommodation in Bangkok, which is prime dengue fever ground, or returning home also to prime dengue fever areas.

    The reason’s obvious, if only it had been up for consideration. A prime example of a study situating the appreciation instead of appreciating the situation.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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