Dengue fever cases expected to soar as Thailand’s rainy season begins

SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2023

Thailand has registered 15,399 dengue fever patients so far this year and the number is expected to rise during the rainy season, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) warn.

Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, DDC director-general, said on Friday that in comparison, last year only saw 2,942 dengue fever patients.

Five provinces have reported the highest number of dengue fever patients this year, namely Nan, Trat, Chumphon, Chanthaburi and Tak.

In response to the spike in patient numbers, Tares said a centre that specifically addresses the dengue fever issue will be established and will work in collaboration with other relevant agencies. The centre will come under his supervision, he added.

The DDC will also cooperate with the Department of Health Service Support, which is responsible for managing up to a million village health volunteers nationwide, to educate people on how to clear Aedes mosquito breeding areas.

The Division of Vector-Borne Diseases reported that standing water in temple areas and schools usually serve as breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitos. He added that children above the age of five are the most common victims of dengue fever.

Dr Sopon Iamsirithaworn, DDC deputy director-general, said the spread of dengue fever may be tougher to contain now that Thailand has entered the rainy season. He added that the only way it can be tackled is if all agencies come up with comprehensive preventive measures.

He also advised patients against self-medicating, as many pills like ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac and aspirin can exacerbate symptoms.

The DDC hopes it will be able to contain the number of dengue fever cases during the June to August rainy season below the five-year median and keep the fatality rate at no more than 0.10% this year, he said.