Flu outbreak sweeps Thailand: OCP9 reminds ‘mask up’ to stay well

Photo: KhaoSod.

Thailand is grappling with a severe flu outbreak, with tens of thousands of patients reported in the past two months. The Office for Disease Control and Prevention 9 in Nakhon Ratchasima (OCP9) urges everyone to intensify precautionary measures and to continue wearing masks.

From January 1 to September 19, there have been 185,216 patients with flu and one death, with the majority being females. Most cases are found among 10 to 14 year olds, followed by newborns to four year olds and seven to nine year olds.

In the jurisdiction of Health Area 9, which includes the four lower northeastern provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Buriram, and Surin, there have been 18,186 flu patients and one death from January 1 to September 16.

In the past eight weeks, from July 23 to September 16, 10,424 patients have been reported. Nakhon Ratchasima has the highest number of flu patients, with 4,088 cases, almost six times more than in the same period last year when there were only 744 cases.

Related news

The other provinces in the region have also seen significant increases in flu patients. Surin has 3,277 cases compared to just 214 last year, Chaiyaphum has 2,048 cases up from 15, and Buriram has 1,012 cases up from 220.

The total number of patients this year is higher than last year and higher than the median for the previous five years from 2018 to 2022. The most affected age group in Health Area 9 is 5 to 9 years old, followed by 10 to 14 year olds and newborns to four year olds. In Nakhon Ratchasima, the districts with the most patients are Chum Phuang and Bua Yai.

Flu Prevention Measures

OCP9 emphasises that the public, especially young children and high-risk groups, should intensify self-protection measures to prevent infection. This includes wearing face masks, getting vaccinated at hospitals or public health service units, and following the “close, clean, avoid, stop” measures:

1. Close: Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and wear a face mask if you have the flu.
2. Clean: Frequently wash your hands with water and soap after touching objects such as door handles, railings, and lift buttons.
3. Avoid: Avoid close contact with nasal mucus, saliva, and sputum, or sharing items with patients.
4. Stop: If you are sick, stop going to school, stop working, stop activities in crowded places. Even if the symptoms are not severe, you should rest at home until you are fully recovered.

As the season transitions from rainy to winter, weather changes can facilitate the spread of respiratory diseases caused by viruses such as the flu, cold, and Covid-19. Therefore, it is crucial to take care of yourself and your family members closely amidst the ongoing flu outbreak, reported KhaoSod.

Follow more of The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

Related Articles