Flu jab essential for vulnerable groups: Public Health Ministry


The Public Health Ministry has urged people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated against influenza as so far this year four people have succumbed to the disease.

The ministry on Monday reported the number of flu patients in Thailand from January 1 to September 19 at 185,216 people with four mortalities.

Most of the cases have been found in children aged 10-14 (18.89%), followed by infants and toddlers up to four years old (17.04%), and children aged 7-9 (14.91%), Public Health Minister Dr Cholnan Srikaew said.

He advised people to wash their hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol gel, and avoid going to crowded areas to reduce the risk of contracting flu.

People in risk groups should also get vaccinated against the disease as soon as possible, he said.

These groups include women more than 4 months pregnant, children aged six months to 2 years, seniors aged 65 years, overweight and obese people with a BMI of over 35, those with chronic diseases involving the lungs, heart and kidneys, as well as those diagnosed with cancer, HIV, and diabetes.

If you suspect that you have the flu, please wear a facemask and avoid sharing personal items with others, Cholnan said, adding that symptoms may include high fever, coughing, headache, muscle ache, sore throat, nausea, and diarrhoea.

“Most people can recover from the flu in 5-7 days, but if your symptoms worsen in 48 hours please see a doctor,” he said.

Flu patients can receive treatment at any public or private hospital under the national healthcare scheme. More information can be found by calling the National Health Security Office’s hotline 1330 or the Department of Disease Control’s hotline 1422.