Influenza claims 14 lives, impacting over 180,000 nationwide

Picture courtesy of Mufid Majnun, Unsplash

Influenza has claimed 14 lives and affected over 180,000 individuals across the nation since the start of the year, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

Director-General Thongchai Keeratihatthayakorn addressed public concerns yesterday regarding severe strains of influenza circulating online. He clarified that influenza is a respiratory viral infection that generally causes mild symptoms and can be treated effectively. However, in some instances, the flu can lead to intercurrent illnesses, increasing the risk of death.

Thongchai reported that a team from Disease Control Office 5 in Ratchaburi is collaborating with local public health offices to perform an in-depth analysis of flu patients. The comprehensive report from this analysis is expected to be released next week.

Data from the Epidemiology Division indicates that from January 1 to June 20, there have been 186,900 reported flu cases and 14 deaths. The fatalities include five in Nakhon Ratchasima, two in Nakhon Si Thammarat, and one each in Chaiyaphum, Surat Thani, Bangkok, Sukhothai, Samut Prakan, Phuket, and Kalasin.

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Surveillance data on influenza and other respiratory viruses from September 1, 2021, to June 16 show that out of 2,284 influenza cases, 1,044 were identified as the A/H3N2 strain.

Various strains have been identified among the population during this period. The A/H3N2 strain constituted 45% of cases, followed by the B/H3N2 strain at 27%, the A/H1N1 strain at 26%, and the A subtype with an unidentified strain at 1%, reported Bangkok Post.

Despite being endemic, influenza can still aggravate intercurrent illnesses like pneumonia, asthma, encephalitis, and bacterial infections, Thongchai added.

In related news, the Thai government urges individuals insured under Sections 33 and 39 of the Social Security Act who are 50 years old and above to receive free influenza vaccinations until December 31.

Karom Polpornklang, Deputy Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, reported that from January 1 to June 1, the number of influenza cases reached 139,326, with an incidence rate of 214.64 per 100,000 people.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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