Thailand free of human bird flu cases since 2006

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thailand remains free of human bird flu cases, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC). Authorities urge travellers from H5N2 outbreak areas to self-monitor for respiratory symptoms within 14 days of arrival and seek medical attention if symptoms arise.

Travellers entering the country have been advised to remain vigilant for irregular respiratory symptoms. Immediate medical consultation is recommended if symptoms appear.

DDC Chief Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn confirmed that Thailand has not had any human bird flu cases since 2006.

Various agencies, including the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) and the Department of Livestock, are actively monitoring for potential animal outbreaks.

“Urgent responsive measures are in place in case an outbreak is detected.”

The Department of Medical Sciences and the Department of Livestock are equipped with laboratory systems to test for the H5N2 viral strain.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the first fatality from Avian Influenza A (H5N2). A 59 year old man in Mexico died on April 24 after experiencing breathing difficulties, diarrhoea, vomiting, and flu symptoms.

The man had chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure but had no contact with fowls. Investigators discovered a bird flu outbreak in his area in March. He was the world’s first human to contract the H5N2 variant.

WHO has stated that the public risk from this virus remains low, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, the DDC issued a warning about a significant rise in mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, cases following the Songkran festival, with the majority of cases reported in Bangkok. The Thai authorities are urging vigilance and advising the public to monitor for symptoms. Since the first detection in July 2022, Thailand has recorded a total of 787 mpox cases as of May 28. Of these, 768 are male, accounting for 97% of the total cases.

In other news, the DDC reported a surge in malaria cases, notably in the Tak province, where the majority of the 2,913 infections have been identified since January.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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