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Fears rise over potential dengue outbreak

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Fears rise over potential dengue outbreak | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: A nine-year-old boy is suspected of becoming the latest victim of dengue fever in Phuket. If the disease is confirmed, he will be the third person in Phuket killed by the disease this year.

The boy, Aniwat Madtai, lived in Koh Kaew and died at Vachira Phuket Hospital August 4.

The tests to determine if dengue hemorrhagic fever was the cause of death will take two weeks, officials at the hospital said.

Dr Wanchai Sattayawutthipong, chief of Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) told the Gazette that there has been an outbreak of dengue fever in Thailand this year.

“There have been two confirmed deaths by dengue fever in Phuket this year and this latest case is pending confirmation. The earlier cases were deaths of two adults, aged between 25 to 35,” he said. “It shows that people in every age group are vulnerable to the disease.”

Last year there were no deaths associated with dengue, although 136 people contracted the disease. So far this year more than 200 people have contracted dengue.

Dr Wanchai said there are easy prevention methods that should reduce the number of dengue cases.

“In the coming weeks officers will go around Phuket and publicize the dangers related to dengue fever. We will also teach people how to protect themselves and their families from dengue.

“The main carrier of this disease is the common house mosquito. People must take steps to break the mosquito’s breeding cycle and protect themselves from being bitten in order to prevent this deadly disease from spreading,” Dr. Wanchai said.

Symptoms of dengue fever are similar to those of the common flu, although sufferers are likely to also bruise easily and experience sharp pains in the joints.

Dr Wanchai advised anyone with such symptoms to see a doctor immediately.


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