Thailand issues dengue warning as cases soar to 3-year high
The Public Health Ministry has warned people to take precautions against mosquito bites as cases of dengue fever soar.
Thailand recorded 18,173 dengue cases from January to May this year, up 4.2 times on the same period last year and the highest caseload for three years, government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Monday. An average of 900 infections per week had resulted in 15 deaths in the January-May period, she said.
Bangkok had the highest number of cases, followed by Trat, Nan, Chanthaburi, Rayong and Mae Hong Son. The worst affected age group was children aged 5-14, followed by the 15-24 group.
The Public Health Ministry warns that cases of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, usually increase between June and August during rainy season before declining in September.
The ministry has advised the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent and sleeping under nets.
Family members should also monitor for symptoms regularly. Initial symptoms are high fever which lasts around 2-7 days, sore muscles, and pain in the eyes.
If family members have any of these symptoms, they should see a doctor immediately, Traisuree said.
The government has urged the public and other sectors to join the dengue prevention campaign by destroying mosquito habitats during rainy season.
Households are advised to drain any standing water on their property to prevent mosquitos from breeding.