Thai health officials have issued a warning about a seasonal outbreak of dengue fever that may be more severe than normal. The Department of Disease Control says that while the focus is on preventing the spread of Covid-19, the risk of contracting dengue tends to be forgotten about.
However, so far this year, there have been 3 early deaths from the mosquito-borne illness. DDC chief Dr Opas Karnkawinpong says this is already half the 2021 total.
“Every year the incidence of dengue, along with that of other diseases such as diarrhoea, and heat stroke, rises sharply as summer approaches. Last year, only 6 people died because of dengue, while this year 3 dengue deaths have been reported in just the first 3 months.”
According to a Bangkok Post report, all 3 deaths were in people who were either recovering from, or being treated for, Covid-19. Opas says that a contributing factor in the severity of their illness was the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Opas has cautioned against using NSAIDs (examples include ibuprofen and high-dose aspirin) to treat high fever or other flu-like symptoms, saying patients should take paracetamol instead. He adds that while most dengue fever cases are detected in children and young people, most dengue deaths are reported in the elderly population, those with underlying illnesses, and patients categorised as obese.
Opas says a first priority around homes should be to get rid of any stagnant water. This will reduce the number of mosquitos in the area and decrease the chance of being bitten and contracting dengue.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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