According to Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawannarong, his ministry has stepped up measures against dengue fever outbreaks, especially in 10 specific provinces with an increase in the scale of outbreaks; among which are Chiang Rai, Si Saket, Phetchabun and Lampang. The two primary measures to achieve this aim include prevention and control in specific areas and improving the capability of community hospitals in dealing with severe cases. An 80% deaths rate was the case with severe dengue fever patients in the rural areas, whereas the rate was only 20% for severe patients in city areas.
The Public Health Ministry has expressed deep concerns over the dengue fever outbreak during the rainy season as the number of patients may surpass 100,000 this year. According to the ministry, Thailand has recorded a threefold increase in infections, with over 73,000 cases reported. So far, 73 people across the country have been killed by the virus.
The number of infected patients usually spikes around July and August when the rainy climate is ideal for the breeding of mosquitoes.
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported that Chiang Rai documented the highest number of cases at 2,004, followed by Chiang Mai at 1,390. There have been more cases reported amongst people aged 15 to 24, and a number of residents believe the disease afflict young children more frequently. Chief of provincial public health office Dr.Chamnan Hansuthivejjakul said that the major cause of the spread of the disease because of Chiang Rai is a province with a large community of foreigners .
More than 4,000 cases were documented in Bangkok as of mid-June, while the Northeast saw 5,406 people diagnosed with dengue, with 5 deaths reported. If treated early enough, dengue is not necessarily fatal, although second and third contractions are more likely to lead to death. Patients with two days of flu-like symptoms including high fever, bleeding gums, nausea, headache, and a rash are advised to consult physicians immediately.
Health minister Dr Pradit Sinthawanarong earlier made known that the quick spread of dengue fever can be attributed to an influx of infected patients from neighbouring countries who travelled to Thailand to seek medical treatment. The Public Health Ministry has so far urged all related agencies to step up prevention measures, including using mosquito-killer sprays and eliminating all mosquito breeding grounds. Members of the public have been cautioned to clear areas of standing water, particularly in schools, which provide breeding grounds for mosquitos.
The ministry has also encouraged local governments to establish incentives for people to stay on top of spots in their homes that could provide opportunities for mosquitos to breed, removing standing water in old pots and receptacles that collect water. According to the U.S.’ Center for Disease Control, 100 million people are infected by the virus each year.
Dengue Fever Symptoms,Treatment and Prevention you should know
Dengue fever is an infection caused by dengue viruses, of which there are four different serotypes.This disease has a sudden onset.
Symptoms may includes
- fever for three to seven days
- intense headache and pain behind the eyes
- muscle and joint pain
- loss of appetite
- vomiting and diarrhoea
- skin rash
- bleeding, usually from the nose or gums.
Recovery is sometimes associated with prolonged fatigue and depression. Repeated episodes of dengue fever may result in excessive bleeding and shock but with appropriate treatment are rarely fatal. Dengue fever occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, including northern Australia.
In Australia the dengue virus is transmitted by a bite from the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Only the female mosquito transmits the dengue virus. This mosquito is a daytime biter, both inside and outside homes, and is most active in the hours after sunrise and before sunset. Other species of mosquito can transmit the virus but are not presently established in Australia.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breed inside and outside the home in containers holding water and rarely fly more than 200 metres from the breeding site. They do not breed in creeks, swamps, pools or other bodies of water.
Diagnosis of dengue fever is made by clinical examination and a blood test.
(or time between becoming infected and developing symptoms) 3 – 14 days, commonly 4 – 7 days.
(or time during which an infected person can infect others)
A mosquito becomes infected if it bites an infected person while the fever is present (an average period of about 3 – 5 days). After biting an infected person it takes 8 – 12 days before the mosquito can infect other people. The mosquito remains infectious for life. Dengue is not directly spread from person-to-person.
There is no specific antiviral treatment available. General recommendations include controlling fever and pain with paracetamol rather than aspirin (aspirin may promote bleeding), and increasing fluid intake.
Prevention of Spread
- Prevent access of mosquitoes to an infected person with a fever.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times in dengue areas:
- Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing covering up as much of the body as possible. Mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothing, such as jeans.
- Use insect repellents containing either:
– DEET (Diethyl toluamide). Always read the manufacturers’ instructions prior to application. Wash DEET off before going to bed in the evening. Do not use on infants if the DEET concentration exceeds 20%, or
– Picaridin, to cover areas of exposed skin.
- Use 1mm insect screens on your house, boat, caravan or tent. If this is not possible, use a mosquito net.
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