Chikungunya continues to rise in Phuket

PHUKET: Chikungunya continues to spread in the province, with 694 confirmed cases in the island’s official records. And the actual figure is probably far higher.

Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) Director Dr Pongsawas Ratanasang confirmed that 669 Thais have received hospital treatment for the disease.

Dr Pongsawas said a further 25 cases, all foreigners, have also been treated: 17 Burmese, one Korean, one New Zealander, two Austrians, one Filipino, two Swedes and one Scot.

Thalang District is the highest risk area, followed by Kathu District and Phuket City.

Dr Pongsawas stressed that nobody has yet died of the disease. He expressed confidence the PPHO was succeeding in controlling its spread.

“The spread of the disease in Phuket is slowing down. I think we can have it under control within three months,” Dr Pongsawas said.

Dr Pongsawas said the actual number of cases was probably far higher, as many people with the disease treat themselves or visit clinics.

One woman in Thalang complained to a local cable television channel that despite frequent spraying of her home by authorities, every member of her household had been hit with the affliction.

Gazette staffer Fraser Morton, who is still recovering from the disease, said, “It’s a nasty, debilitating, uncomfortable and expensive fever to have. My first symptom was an extremely high fever that topped 40, followed by severe aching in my knees and lower back, as well as vomiting. I was admitted to hospital, put on a drip and pumped full of pain medication for two days.

“Three weeks on I still have pains in my lower back and knees, and have been told by my doctor this could last another month. My bill topped 16,000 baht at the international hospital where I stayed for two days,” said the Scotsman.

— Khunakorn Terdkiatkhachorn

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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