Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Health: The truth about dengue fever



PHUKET: A prominent Phuket doctor has warned residents to protect themselves from dengue fever, also known as “break-bone fever”, by removing all sources of stagnant water from around their homes and minimizing exposure to mosquito bites.

According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), dengue (pronounced den’ gee) is caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses. All are transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. In Phuket, this mosquito is most commonly the Aedes aegypti.

Dr Wiwat Seetamanotch, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO), told the Gazette that dengue fever cases have increased dramatically since the beginning of this year.

Nationwide, the number of patients now totals 11,202. Although Phuket remains a safe zone, Dr Wiwat said, people here should not forget to protect themselves.

“We haven’t recorded any dengue outbreak zones in Phuket, but I want people in every area to be aware of how dangerous this fever can be. Since the fever is caused by a virus transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, it is best to protect yourself from being bitten in the first place,” Dr Wiwat suggested.

The onset of the rainy season coincides with an increase in the prevalence of mosquitoes, which vector the dengue virus. Infection rates are typically higher during this time.

“Mosquitoes lay their eggs above the waterline in a container, then, a rainfall or irrigation event adds water above the existing level and the eggs hatch. Development to adulthood takes approximately 7-20 days, depending on food and temperature conditions,” Florida-based entomologist, Michael Hudon, explained.

According to the CDC, dengue is endemic in many parts of the tropics and subtropics; it occurs annually during the season when Aedes mosquito populations are high. These areas are also at periodic risk of epidemic dengue, when large numbers of people become infected during a short period.

“I would suggest that people avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, cover open water containers with lids, change the water in containers frequently and flush out stagnant water collected in drains,” Dr Wiwat added.

There is no specific medication for treatment of a dengue infection, according to the CDC’s publication on the Epidemiology of Dengue. Persons who think they have dengue should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and consult a physician.

If they feel worse (vomiting and severe abdominal pain) in the first 24 hours after the fever declines, they should go immediately to the hospital for evaluation.

“Symptoms of dengue, which usually present within five or six days of exposure, typically starting with fever. Symptoms can include severe headache, joint and muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash (may appear over the body 3-4 days after the onset of fever) and bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums and under the skin,” Dr Wiwat said.

He advised those who suspect they may be infected to consult a doctor rather than try to self-prescribe medicine available at local pharmacies.

“Otherwise you won’t know how much the virus has spread inside your body. It is best to check properly,” he concluded.

“This year from January to May 2012 there were 180 recorded cases of dengue in Phuket, with only one death. Throughout the whole nation there were 11,202 recorded cases and 8 deaths over the same period,” said Ms Arunee Suphanam, Chief of the Department of Disease Prevention and Control at the PPHO.

“For comparison, for all of last year in Phuket there were 225 recorded cases, with no deaths. During the same period, nationally, there were 29,759 patients with no resultant deaths.”

Installing mosquito screens, wearing long-sleeved clothing and spraying exposed areas of the skin with a repellent are the best ways of avoiding dengue.

Typically, the more active the ingredient a repellent contains, the longer it will provide
protection from mosquito bites.

“Avoid dengue at all costs,” advised one Phuket Gazette reader, aged 48. “I had it about 10 years ago and it almost killed me. I have been through a lot of medical problems during my years, but for a complete package of misery, dengue fever is very hard to beat.”


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok6 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World6 hours ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Sponsored2 days ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Travel6 hours ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand6 hours ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime7 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime8 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime9 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video9 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World10 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand11 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand11 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand12 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11