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Phuket passes on swine flu vaccine

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket passes on swine flu vaccine | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: Phuket residents at high risk of contracting swine flu are failing to get vaccinated due to fears of side effects.

Fewer than 7% of those identified as being at high risk have taken the vaccine, according to figures from the Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO).

The PPHO says there are around 10,000 people in Phuket listed as having conditions that put them at elevated risk. These include women over three months pregnant, people weighing over 100kg, people with autism, sufferers of chronic diseases as well as health care workers.

However, since the vaccination program began in mid-January, just 666 people have been inoculated.

PPHO director Pongsawas Ratanasang thinks public fear about side effects is largely responsible.

He insists the vaccine is safe and to prove this point was the first person on the island to be inoculated under the program.

After the injection I felt perfectly normal,” he said. “There was no allergic reaction. Professors have guaranteed that the vaccine is very safe. It’s just as safe as the normal influenza vaccine, which has been used for many years,” he said.

The vaccine has the backing of the World Health Organization, he added.

Between January 11 and 29, a total of 83,615 people nationwide received the vaccine.

Of these, 52 experienced mild side effects that included fever, prickly heat, aches and swelling of the skin. In all cases the symptoms disappeared within three days.

Dr Pongsawas said the number of people seeking treatment for flu-like conditions has increased recently, but most were not infected with the A(H1N1) virus that causes swine flu.

Asked about rumors that there had been an outbreak of the disease at the Wichit Songkraam School near Central Festival Phuket, he said teachers there closed the school on a precautionary basis last week after many students got sick.

Subsequent testing revealed that all were suffering from normal flu, not the A(H1N1) strain.

Since the beginning of the year there have only been five new cases of A(H1N1) infection reported in Phuket, he said.

However, the number of people seeking treatment at Vachira Phuket Hospital for flu-like symptoms has risen markedly in recent weeks, he said.

At the start of the new year, about fifty people per week came to the hospital with flu-like conditions, compared to over a hundred currently.

Most are given the antiviral drug oseltamivir and sent home without testing for A(H1N1), which is expensive. If their symptoms persist or worsen, lab work is then ordered, he said.

Dr Weerawat Yorsaengrat, deputy director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, said there were fewer swine flu patients now than there were at the beginning of the outbreak last year.

Nevertheless, I’d like people to keep taking care of themselves by washing their hands and keeping everything clean,” he said.

Anyone who starts to feel sick should stop any exercise routines until they return to full health, he added.

— Atchaa Khamlo & S. Fein

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong

The Thaiger



Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police

Patong Police are investigating alleged foreign motorbike racing gangs in Patong after a viral video clip in local social media.

The Patong Police report that the clip of tourists who have been driving their motorbikes at high speed around the streets of Patong has been very popular and provided them with a lot of information about the locations, the bikes and the riders.

Police are now investigating the incident to find the people on the bikes so they can charge them and take legal action.

Every month they say there are about 2,000 cases as Patong Police enforce the road rules around the tourist town. Patong Traffic Police say they are strictly enforcing traffic rules to prevent road accidents and protect tourists.

Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger

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“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling?

The Thaiger



“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling? | The Thaiger

by Krix Luther

The word is out about self-myofascial release – foam rolling – and, no, Thailand people, this doesn’t have to do with a ‘soapy’ or ‘happy-endings’.

So what is foam rolling you ask? Well, it was once a secretive technique used by professional coaches and therapists but has become a regular practice for people across the spectrum of all fitness levels.

Self-myofascial release is just a fancy term for a technique of self-massage that helps deal with muscle tightness and trigger points.

With a massage parlour never being farther than a kilometre away, and decent one-hour massage costing you less than 500 baht, it might be difficult to see the point of learning the technique – which would explain why I always see a bunch of rarely used foam rollers in the corner of Nai Harn Gym in Phuket (one of the places I work).

Nonetheless, the understanding of your body and muscle structures that comes with practising the technique can offer many benefits.

  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Prevents chances of DOMS
  • Reduces post-workout stress
  • Helps with post-workout cooldown
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Prevents training-related injuries
  • Reduces chances of overtraining

The practice can be done with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane or your own hands by simply applying pressure to specific points on your body, aiding in the recovery of muscles and assisting in returning them to normal function. We can think of ‘normal function’ as when your muscles are elastic, healthy and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

Foam rolling after a workout will provide deep compression that will help relax tight muscles and adhesions (fibrous bands) between muscle layers and their surroundings. The benefits of foam rolling are outstanding, in addition to increasing blood flow, which will speed up muscle recovery. Foam rolling can be used for a variety of corrective bodywork.

It can loosen muscles to re-balance posture, re-establish proper movement patterns, enhance performance and help create pain-free movement.

Stretching alone is not always enough when it comes to releasing the tightness, which makes the technique very helpful. Additionally, you are able to feel exactly what is happening and adjust the pressure so that it is uncomfortable, but not unbearable – not always the case when it comes to the toes of your Thai masseuse digging into your back.

Krix Luther has been a Personal Trainer in Phuket for more than 10 years, he specialises in weight loss, strength & conditioning, TRX and CrossFit. For more information about Krix and his services, visit

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Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash

The Thaiger



Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | The Thaiger

A 74 year old motorbike driver has died after colliding with a high speed taxi in Thalang this morning.

The Thalang Police headed to the accident near an intersection of Thepkrasattri – Nai Yang Road in Thalang at 7.40am.

When they arrived they found a damaged taxi. Nearby they located the damaged motorbike.

74 year old Somchai Uttasaha, the motorbike driver, was taken to the Thalang Hospital but was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Police report that the taxi was traveling at high speed. The driver was 48 year old Prasert Malitong.

When the taxi arrived at the location of the incident, the motorbike was allegedly traveling outside his proper traffic lane.  The taxi collided with the motorbike at speed.

The taxi driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death.

Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The ThaigerElderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The Thaiger

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