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Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever

Tim Newton

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Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | The Thaiger
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There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection. If you think you may have dengue fever, you should use pain relievers with acetaminophen and avoid medicines with aspirin, which could worsen bleeding. You should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and see your doctor or visit a clinic immediately.

A lot of Thailand is jungle. And the weather is very humid. Mosquitoes thrive in both situations. You’re in their domain and they’re not going anywhere just because you want to live here or are on your vacation. Aedes aegypti carry Dengue Fever which is very prevalent in South East Asian countries.

1. Mosquitoes love the ground

Most mosquitoes ‘hang around’ close to the ground so your feet and legs dangling under the table are an easy target and out of sight. You won’t hear them buzzing under there over the clinking of glasses and the tuk tuks whizzing by. If you’re heading out to dinner take some repellent for your legs, the lower on the legs, the more likely you are to be bitten there. Most restaurants and bars will have some spray – just ask them.

It’s the places we love and appreciate about Thailand, sitting amongst the tropical jungles, that are also the most dangerous when it comes to contracting dengue.

And just because you’re staying on a 10th floor condo and think you’re high above the scourge of the mosquitoes, you’re not safe and plenty of mosquitoes will find their way to find you.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

2. Sunrise and sunset

We love the sunsets in Thailand. And for the morning people, sunrises. So do Aedes aegypti, the type of mosquitoes that carry Dengue. So these times of the day you need extra precautions against mosquitoes. They will be around.

If you are at an outdoor venue at the time make sure the fans are circulating the air under the tables and you have a quick spray of repellent – every venue will have some available.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

3. They love your perfume

If you smell nice – a hint of perfume or after-shave here or there – the mosquitoes will be attracted too. Probably not your intended target. That scented soap the hotel provided (in the impossible-to-open plastic wrap) is likely a sweet smell for the relentless mosquito’s tracking system.

When they’re not biting you they’re usually attracted to flowers. Bland is better if you want to avoid mosquitoes. Buy unscented deodorant too. Try chocolates, flowers and an expensive restaurant to lure your partner instead.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

4. Biege is back

Beige is back. Mosquitoes are fashion victims and seem attracted to bright colored clothing. Bland coloured clothes are less attractive to mosquitoes. There may be a reason the tropical safari suits being beige.

(By the way, only Roger Moore as James Bond looks cool in a safari suit. You won’t look cool but it may help you avoid being bitten.)

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

5. Re-apply repellants

Whatever you apply on your skin to deter mosquitoes, you’ll need to re-apply every few hours. Just a quick squirt isn’t going to work all night. If you’re outside you WILL be perspiring and this both washes away the repellent and provides a new attractive scent for the mosquitoes.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

6. They like it dirty!

If you’ve been out all day, trekking the hills around Phuket, swimming in the sea, lounging on the beach… Yum, you’ll be sweaty, salty and ripe for the mosquitoes. They like it dirty!

Have a shower, without using scented soap or lotions, before you head out for your sunset drinks at your favourite rooftop bar.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

7. Check the mosquito coil is still alight

Mosquito coils work very well as a general deterrent but you’ll need to be vigilant about having the coil’s fumes blowing in your direction. Set them on the ground, where most of the mosquitoes tend to gather, around your legs and feet. Check them regularly to make sure they haven’t stopped burning.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

8. Blinded by the light

Mosquitoes are attracted to light so if the lights are off outside and on inside, the mosquitoes will be headed towards the light. Not only mosquitoes, just about any bug is going to be attracted to light. If you want to get the bugs outside again, turn on a light outside and the lights off inside and open the doors. They’ll head out towards the light.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

9. Spray your room before you go the bed

Mosquitoes will track you down, wherever you are. No matter if you’re in a five-star hotel over-looking the Andaman Sea or a back-packers in the heart of Phuket Town, they don’t discriminate. If there’s a hole in your room’s defenses, mosquitoes will find a way in. Windows and doors, obviously, but also vents – anywhere there’s access to the outside.

Best to spray your room before you sleep and keep the doors and windows closed, unless you’ve got fly-screens without any rips or tears. Many of us don’t like sleeping with the air-conditioning but better a dry throat in the morning rather than a case of dengue.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

10. Nets and fans

A mosquito net above your bed is a cage that keeps you in and the mosquitoes out. Make sure there’s no way in for them – they’ll find a way if there is. A good fan will also work very well but it’s got to be blowing hard enough so the mosquitoes can’t make a three-point landing on your body.

A gentle zephyr on #1 setting won’t do. If you get the position of the fan right and have the setting high enough you’ll stay cool and the mosquitoes will not be able to land on you and bite.

Top 10 ways to avoid Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

Bottomline

South East Asia has been declared the region with the greatest risk of contracting dengue by the World Health Organisation. Instances of Dengue are on the rise but you are well able to control most of the risk factors.

The Aedes Aegypti is also known as the tiger mosquito with the distinctive black and white stripes. They most frequently bite at sunrise and sunset but this species also bites during the day. But you’re only at risk if the actual mosquito is carrying the Dengue virus.

Conservatively, at least 50 million people contract Dengue each year. Dengue is thought to cause around 20,000 deaths per year. The fever can take around a week to incubate after you’ve been bitten. You might start with a measle-like rash followed by a fever and lack of energy. Victims describe it as flu-like symptoms but many react quite differently depending on the strain of the virus.

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Find more Thai Life top 10s and top 10s in Thailand on The Thaiger.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

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Environment

Chemical ban now in effect, farmers say they have few alternatives

Caitlin Ashworth

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Chemical ban now in effect, farmers say they have few alternatives | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand’s ban on 2 toxic chemicals in herbicides and pesticides, is now in effect. While the move focuses on a sustainable, eco-friendly future, farmers say they are at a loss with no alternatives to keep bugs and weeds from killing their crops.

The 2 chemicals, paraquat and chlorpyrifos, have been shown to be toxic to humans in some studies, in sufficient quantities. Paraquat is used to kill weeds on palm, rubber, sugarcane, corn and cassava plantations while chlorpyrifos is used to kill worms on fruit. The two chemicals were added to the Type 4 list on Thailand’s Hazardous Substance Act last month and the ban started on June 1. A group of Thai farmers again tried to appeal the ban last week.

“Without paraquat, Thai farmers will face losses in key crops because there are no alternatives.”

Secretary-general of the Federation of Safe Agriculture Sukan Sungwanna says that around 10 million farming households in Thailand use the chemicals.

Thailand’s deputy chief for the Department of Agriculture says they’ve prepared 16 alternatives for substitutes for the chemicals, but declined to discuss the details.

Farmers are given 90 days to return unused chemicals back to sellers. Farmers caught storing or using the chemicals after June 1 face charges of malfeasance. Those who sell, produce, import or export the chemicals can also face up to 10 years in jail and an up to 1 million baht fine.

SOURCES: Reuters | Bangkok Post

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Environment

Black water pours into the Gulf of Thailand right next to Pattaya’s Walking Street – VIDEO

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Black water pours into the Gulf of Thailand right next to Pattaya’s Walking Street – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: We Love Pattaya

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water… some disgusting black water gushing back onto the Pattaya foreshore. It’s meant to be the Gulf of Thailand, not the Black Sea. The video on the ‘We Love Pattaya’ Facebook page (below) showed the black water pouring into the sea from a pumping station near the entrance to Pattaya’s Walking Street.

By the time reporters got there to collect more pictorial evidence, the damage done was evident although the flow of dirty water had stopped. Heavy rains from late last week had mixed with heaven-knows-what and ended up being deposited on Pattaya’s foreshore, basically pristine up to this event after a ‘rest’ from tourists for nearly 3 months.

The local media called on Pattaya authorities to “act on the reports” but nothing is expected to happen. At this stage, seeing this video, social distancing may be more than just staying away from other people.

It seems the new Pattaya Beach Road drains are WORKING 🇹🇭🙏🇹🇭Big rain no beach road floods ❤️🤍💙

Posted by We Love Pattaya on Thursday, 28 May 2020

SOURCE: Thai Visa | We Love Pattaya

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Environment

Southern mayor backs bounty for shark hunt after boy’s foot was bitten

Caitlin Ashworth

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Southern mayor backs bounty for shark hunt after boy’s foot was bitten | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ทต.เจ๊ะบิลัง จังหวัดสตูล

People are searching for a shark after it bit a boy’s foot at the Chebilang pier in the southern province of Satun. The Chebilang mayor Mahmadneesum Bilungload even said he’ll give a cash reward of 1,000 baht to whoever catches the shark. He took a long tail boat out on Saturday afternoon to scope out the scene and try and track down the shark.

Last Thursday, 12 year old Harafat Limapicharsakul was playing on the Chebilang pier with two of his friends. The shark bit his foot when he was swinging his legs in the canal. The boy is okay, but he needed 50 stitches (yikes!!). The local government Facebook page posted a warning alerting people not to swim in the canal.

Researchers from the Marine and Coastal Resources Department say the bite is most likely from a bull shark. The canal opens into the Andaman Sea and bull sharks are known to swim from the sea into the brackish water of the klong, a marine scientist told the Bangkok Post. The department’s director general says that bull sharks are not typically aggressive, “but maybe they shark saw the boy’s swing legs as a threat”.

The minister of Natural Resources and Environment is criticising the mayor for supporting the shark hunt, adding that warning signs and announcements should be put in place instead of demonising a breed of shark.

“Don’t offer a bounty for a shark or support the hunt for a reward.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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