Phuket authorities launch campaign against dengue fever in schools

Phuket authorities fog schools to prevent dengue fever, photo by Phuket City Municipality Facebook.

Now that Thailand’s new school year has started last week, Phuket’s authorities are on their guard for dengue fever. On Thursday, the Public Health and Environment Division of Phuket City Municipality brought fogging machines to schools, kindergardens, and vocational colleges, to fight mosquitos.

Phuket hasn’t had dengue outbreaks in recent years, however, a Songkhla doctor warned this week that the risk of contracting it in Thailand is higher in the rainy season, because pools of water are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Phuket Provincial Health Office Chief Thanit Sermkaew used to regularly remind the public that “this disease returns every rainy season”.

Workers from the Public Health and Evironmental Division fogged 9 schools early in the morning, before students arrived.

Dengue fever is caused by bites from Aedes Aegypti mosquitos (the black and white striped ones) infected with the dengue virus. The virus incubates inside the mosquito for 8 – 10 days and is stored in the mosquito’s salivary glands. When an infected mosquito bites someone, it will release the infection and make the person sick. Symptoms can range from mild to very severe and can even result in death.

Symptoms include a fever for 2 – 7 days, headache, body ache, rash and small red spots on the body, arms and legs. Symptoms are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. If symptoms are serious, the infected person should seek treatment at the hospital.

In Songkhla province in southern Thailand, 32 cases of dengue fever were reported from January 1 – May 10 this year. No deaths were reported. The most common age group to catch dengue were 10 – 14 year olds followed by 14 – 24 year olds. Cases were recorded in Krasae Sin, Sadao, Hat Yai, Mueang and Saba Yoi districts.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.