Government issues health warning
PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Health Department (PHD) has issued a public health warning for diarrhea and malaria for the months of January and February. The warning comes after the release of statistics for the year 2000. These statistics show that the number of reported cases of diarrhea and malaria during these months in past years has reached near-epidemic proportions. The PHD warns that people with diarrhea who do not receive proper medical treatment immediately may suffer dehydration and calcium deficiency, and that those who neglect sound medical advice may even die. According to PHD reports for last year, 10,994 people contracted diarrhea in Phuket. This figure has risen steadily over the past few years. The most affected group has been newborn babies and young children up to four years of age. The second most affected are foreign laborers aged 25 to 34. Today’s warning included malaria as last year saw 105 cases of it recorded in Phuket. Of these, 60 were Thais and 45 were foreign laborers. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted among people by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The malaria warning is directed mainly at the highest-risk segment of the population: rubber plantation workers.
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