A spokesman from Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPPHO) told The Phuket News today (April 23) there had been 122 confirmed cases of the disease reported this year between January 1 and April 18.
In the same period last year, there were 50 reported cases.
Deputy Director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, Dr Nara Kingkaew, told The Phuket News the reason for the increase was that the Phuket population had grown, and there was higher humidity this year than last, which created a good breeding environment for the mosquito larvae.
Dr Nara said he was concerned about the rising number of cases, and said that children under 20 were more at risk of catching the disease.
There were also still a large number of people who did not follow advice from the health office about how to stop dengue spreading, he said.
“People should pay more attention to their houses. You can’t just depend on the government or local authorities to handle the situation – you have to take care of your own house area.”
A spokesperson from the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office Disease Control Department said she was concerned about the increasing number of cases in Phuket, but said dengue fever was common every year.
PPPHO Provincial Chief Medical Officer Dr Buncha Kakhong said medical tests on the six year old Burmese girl who died at Vachira showed she died from dengue fever. She had arrived in Phuket recently with her family.
“If you know of someone who has a cold or high fever (higher than 38.5 degrees) for more than two days, please bring them to the hospital or health office, where we can test them.”
Tomorrow (April 24), the PPPHO will launch the “3-3-3 Measure” dengue fever health campaign, which will last three months.
During the first three days of the campaign, health officers will visit people who live in at-risk areas around Phuket, and test those who they think might have the disease.
The officers then have three weeks to put together all the information for those who are infected.
Over the whole three month period, there will be mosquito repellant available free of charge from all hospitals across Phuket, plus clinics, and provincial health offices.
“Please spread the word,” Dr Buncha said.
The PPPHO advises people to use insect repellant, put mosquito screens up on doors and windows, change the water in tanks or vases regularly, and don’t leave any containers of stagnant water around.
Across Thailand there have been 22,495 confirmed cases of the disease so far this year, and the nationwide death toll stands at 25.