BANGKOK — A total of 11,881 dengue fever cases have been reported in the country since the beginning of the year, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.
Public Health permanent secretary Dr Narong Sahametapat said that of the total, 13 people aged between 15 and 24 have died from dengue fever from Jan 1 to July 8.
However, the number of patients reported so far this year was 80 per cent lower compared to the same period in 2013.
Thailand’s rainy season, running from May through September, is also the high risk period for dengue fever, a potentially serious condition most prevalent in tropical countries. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry the virus that causes dengue fever, and they infect 50 million people a year, including 500,000 serious cases requiring hospitalization. (source: WHO)
Virus-carrying mosquitoes breed in clear water and are usually found in and around housing developments in urban areas. They are most active in the daytime. The virus can only be transmitted from mosquito to human; it is not passed from one person to another.
Once a person is bitten by a virus-carrying mosquito, symptoms only appear after an incubation period of three to 15 days (5 to 8 days in most cases). Dengue fever’s most common symptoms include:
Sudden chills and pain around the eyes;
High fever, up to 104° F / 40° C;
Headaches, muscle pain and neck pain;
Unexplained lethargy, loss of appetite;
Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea;
Skin rash that usual starts around the abdomen and upper torso.
The high fever and other symptoms usually persist for two to four days and are followed by a rapid drop in temperature and profuse sweating. Next, a temporary respite usually lasting about a day brings a feeling of well-being as body temperature returns to normal. That’s followed by a second round of fast-rising fever accompanied by a rash which spreads from the extremities until it covers the full body except the face. Some patients suffer swelling and redness on the palms and soles of their feet.
Public health officials throughout the country have been warned to remain on high alert against the spread of dengue especially during the current rainy season.
Hospitals, schools and households have been advised to eradicate mosquito larvae to prevent the outbreak of the disease.