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Thailand facing its worst dengue outbreak in half a decade

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Public cooperation sought to contain worrying dengue outbreak

By Pratch Rujivanarom
The Nation

 

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With Thailand facing its worst dengue outbreak in half a decade, people of all ages have been advised to protect themselves from mosquito bites and control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population.

 

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has assured that the authorities are fully prepared to cope with the dengue outbreak, but the department’s Vector Borne Diseases Bureau director Dr Cheewanan Lertpiriyasuwat cautioned that the current dengue outbreak situation was worrisome.

 

She said everyone should protect themselves from mosquito bites to avoid being infected with dengue and slow down the spread of the disease.

 

According to the recent situation report of the Bureau, in just the first half of this year 40,402 dengue cases had been reported in Thailand, 1.6 times higher than in the same period of 2018.

 

Due to the significant rise in dengue cases this year, the Bureau estimates that the prevalence of dengue in Thailand has jumped from last year’s figure of 38.6 persons per 100,000 population to 61.16 persons per 100,000 population.

 

The Northeast was found to have the highest number of dengue cases in the country at 17,679, while Ubon Ratchathani province had the most serious dengue outbreak, with 1,944 patients under observation during June and a disease prevalence rate of 104.16 persons per 100,000 population.

 

It was also found that the mortality rate from dengue was higher this year with 58 people losing their lives so far after being infected by the mosquito-borne disease. This is a sharp rise from 33 deaths in all of 2018.

 

“Considering the current rate of infection, we are faced with one of the most severe dengue outbreaks in recent years. The number of dengue cases in the first six months of this year is already higher than the numbers reported in an entire year during the last half a decade,” Cheewanan said.

 

“Thailand alone is not affected by a surge in dengue cases. Neighbouring countries such as Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar are also experiencing a rapid spread of dengue at a record-breaking rate as well,” she said.

 

She added that though the DDC was well prepared and had implemented mitigation measures to control the spread, these measures may not be enough to prevent a worsening of the situation during the rainy season. She said the involvement of the public is necessary to help the authorities suppress the outbreak.

 

“The best dengue prevention methods that everyone is encouraged to follow are to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate spawning grounds of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This is the most effective way to keep dengue outbreak under control,” she said.

 

Dr Mukda Wangworawong, a dengue expert at the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health, said the sharp rise in dengue infection this year was not totally unexpected for the Thai medical sector and authorities, as dengue outbreaks normally recur once every two years.

 

However, Mukda revealed that the current round of dengue outbreak recurrence is of greater concern than previous ones, because this time the strain spreading the dengue virus is DENV-2 or dengue virus type 2, which is more lethal than other dengue strains, especially among adults.

 

“Though statistics show youths aged between 5 and 14 as most vulnerable to the infection, the death rate among adults is higher and could reach up to 60 per cent, as the health of this population group tended to be poorer due to other non-communicable diseases,” she said.

 

“Therefore, people should take this health risk seriously and follow the measures suggested by the DDC to protect themselves from mosquitoes and dengue,” Mukda said.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30372734

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-07-11

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Had dengue a few years back...bedridden for 2 weeks, too weak to walk more than a few steps...less than 100% power for months after...nasty stuff...

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

people of all ages have been advised to protect themselves from mosquito bites and control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population.

I just wonder how many people of all ages are able to see the difference between mosquito speices, because that knowledge seems to be one of the criterias needed to follow and control according to the advice given?

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2 hours ago, Puchaiyank said:

Had dengue a few years back...bedridden for 2 weeks, too weak to walk more than a few steps...less than 100% power for months after...nasty stuff...

 

You should be much more careful now as a second infection is considered to be much more severe.

 

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3 hours ago, Puchaiyank said:

Had dengue a few years back...bedridden for 2 weeks, too weak to walk more than a few steps...less than 100% power for months after...nasty stuff...

same here, if you have had dengue fever before the second attack is even more severe. An ex colleague of mine had dengue fever 3 times in Malaysia, the third time caused the doctors to completely renew his blood through blood transfers twice and he was on the point of death. He was told never to come to Asia again as the next bout of dengue fever would kill him so the firm pulled him back to Munich.

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

avoid mosquito bites and eliminate spawning grounds of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

More spouting of the bleedin' obvious!  Any tips on how to avoid bites?  Brand names of effective repellents?  Effective pesticides? 

Draining breeding grounds in gardens is easy, but how do you do it in Isaan where the whole area is under water for months on end?

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4 minutes ago, mikebell said:

More spouting of the bleedin' obvious!  Any tips on how to avoid bites?  Brand names of effective repellents?  Effective pesticides? 

Draining breeding grounds in gardens is easy, but how do you do it in Isaan where the whole area is under water for months on end?

Singapore handles mosquito breeding sites with the use of 'mosquito police'.  they check apartments, houses, everywhere for containers of water lying around or pot plants and even some plants which hold water.

It rests with every householder to keep their yards and garden clean.  My Thai landlady used 'mosquito sand' which has something in it which prevents eggs from hatching.  This went in all her pot plant bowls and small ponds, and we never saw a mozzie.  

A tropical strength roll-on bug repellant kept the beasties off my arms and legs at night.  "Aerogard" is my favourite.

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So they have only been keeping records for half a decade? Doing better than IMOs.

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Its much worse now. Latest data says 
44,671 cases, 62 deaths as of July 9 2019.
Epidemic was declared last month but not much publicity about it. Do take care to protect against mosquitoe bites.

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Some years ago I got Dengue in the middle of Pattaya. The only protection seems to be not to sit outside and to have insect screens at all your windows. Or even better to move to a country without Dengue. I am thinking more and more about this since another Dengue infection could end very bad. But all this is also not good news for tourists coming here and even coming here with children.

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20 minutes ago, mikebell said:

More spouting of the bleedin' obvious!  Any tips on how to avoid bites?  Brand names of effective repellents?  Effective pesticides? 

Draining breeding grounds in gardens is easy, but how do you do it in Isaan where the whole area is under water for months on end?

You move!

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3 hours ago, Puchaiyank said:

Had dengue a few years back...bedridden for 2 weeks, too weak to walk more than a few steps...less than 100% power for months after...nasty stuff...

Same here...never had anything quite like it and as you say it took months to get back to 100%! I have spoken to others who have gotten it and some had fairly mild reactions which I put down to a weaker strain as there are four or five known types depending on which article you read. I was seriously fit and healthy when I got it and it completely kicked me in the ass! 

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14 minutes ago, mikebell said:

More spouting of the bleedin' obvious!  Any tips on how to avoid bites?  Brand names of effective repellents?  Effective pesticides? 

Draining breeding grounds in gardens is easy, but how do you do it in Isaan where the whole area is under water for months on end?

Yes and what do you do with septic tanks connected to the toilette. I have to bail out the run off tank because it fills with water, the tank sits in clay soil so the jets to release the water into the earth don't work, when I remove the concrete lid half a million mossies swarm out. I've taken to taking an insect spray with me now and blasting a spray through a 10cm gap first.

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29 minutes ago, soalbundy said:

Yes and what do you do with septic tanks connected to the toilette. I have to bail out the run off tank because it fills with water, the tank sits in clay soil so the jets to release the water into the earth don't work, when I remove the concrete lid half a million mossies swarm out. I've taken to taking an insect spray with me now and blasting a spray through a 10cm gap first.

Mosquito larvae need to breathe ,a thin coating of oil on to the top of the water kills them pretty quick. Vegetable oil works well. You don't need much 

Also make sure your gutters on your roof are not holding any water, or anything lying around the place.

Make sure you have fish in water in any ponds or plants that need to sit in water will also eat them.

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40 minutes ago, masuk said:

Singapore handles mosquito breeding sites with the use of 'mosquito police'.  they check apartments, houses, everywhere for containers of water lying around or pot plants and even some plants which hold water.

It rests with every householder to keep their yards and garden clean.  My Thai landlady used 'mosquito sand' which has something in it which prevents eggs from hatching.  This went in all her pot plant bowls and small ponds, and we never saw a mozzie.  

A tropical strength roll-on bug repellant kept the beasties off my arms and legs at night.  "Aerogard" is my favourite.

Same thing in tropical Australia.,  "Mozzie police" have considerable power to enforce the elimination of potential breeding locations.  My cousin had a hilarious encounter with some who tried to tell her the fluid inside her pitcher plant flowers was a potential breeding location and wanted the plants destroyed!.  She dragged them inside and showed them a video if the plants life cycle to allay them!

 

I have my house here in Thailand fully screened.  I cannot figure out why more people don't do that. Economics rules out the lower group but many houses around me are not screened - - crazy!

 

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