Monday, September 28, 2020

Almost 6,000 children sickened in dengue outbreak

Jun 12. 2020
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By The Nation

As the Covid-19 crisis eases in Thailand, alarm is growing over a nationwide outbreak of deadly dengue fever that has sickened almost 6,000 children so far this year.

As of June 2, Thailand has recorded 15,385 cases of dengue fever, which has killed 11 people, said Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingjaroenchai, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), on Thursday (June 11). A third of those (5,828) have been children aged 5-14, four of whom have died after contracting dengue in the outbreak.

Delayed treatment, underlying conditions and obesity increase the chances of the mosquito-borne disease being fatal.

An investigation found mosquito larvae were still prevalent in Thai school premises, which are set to reopen on Monday as more coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted. Most larvae were found in unused containers (11.29 per cent), plant pots (13.89 per cent), and old tyres (17.65 per cent).

“The rainy season, which creates puddles of water that serve as breeding grounds for mosquitos, is the main factor that is boosting the outbreak. I would like to ask people to look out for unused containers that might become breeding grounds in households,” said Dr Suwanchai.

Meanwhile, health officials in Ubon Ratchathani province revealed they had recorded 800 cases of dengue so far this year, a small number compared to the 8,000 with 10 deaths recorded in 2019, but still a cause for worry.

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