Taking extra measures to prevent mosquito bites is advised in Thailand, especially when cases of dengue fever have nearly doubled in the past month. Health authorities have voiced concerns about the threat of dengue fever this monsoon season.
On July 11, Thailand’s Department of Disease Control (DDC) recorded 9,473 cases of dengue fever since the beginning of the year. By August 16, the number of cases since the beginning of the year had shot up to 17,412.
In July, the DDC reported a total of eight dengue fever deaths in Thailand this year. By August 16, the death toll had risen to 14.
In respective order, provinces with the highest number of cases are Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Tak, and Si Saket. The department reports that the illness is mostly found among adults.
The department expects intensified dengue fever outbreaks in accordance with the disease outbreak cycle, which usually surges in rainy season.
Dengue fever symptoms include two to seven days of high fever, headaches, body aches, rashes, and small red spots on the skin. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, and loss of appetite. Special care is required once the fever starts to go down, with most recorded deaths occurring at this stage from shock, says the DDC.
If a fever occurs for longer than two days and cannot be brought down by fever-reducing drugs then dengue fever is suspected and the patient should see a doctor. The DDC warns against treating dengue with aspirin or ibuprofen.
Dengue is spread by bites from infected Aedes mosquitos, also known as Asian tiger mosquitos, which are easily identifiable by their black and white stripes.
Director-general of the DDC Dr Opas Karnkawinpong recommends removing mosquito breeding grounds from homes by keeping the home tidy, storing items in an orderly manner, and increasing sunlight. Anything that stores water, such as vases, should have lids on and the water should be changed every week, recommends the doctor.
Mosquito bites can be prevented by using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers, and by burning mosquito-repelling incense, which is available to buy at 7-Eleven.
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