Dr Thanit Sermkaew told The Phuket News on Thursday (May 9), “The situation is under control and nothing to worry about as the morbidity rate is not as high as it was last year and is decreasing.”
The Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health reports that Phuket is currently ranked fourth out of the seven upper provinces of Southern Thailand.
A report in June 2018 had Phuket ranked first nationally (See story here) with an average of approximately 71 cases per month between January and June 2018.
This year, Phuket has recorded an average of 36 cases per month between January and May.
The seven provinces in order of morbidity rates in descending order are: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Phang Nga, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ranong and Chumphon.
The PPHO reported that from Jan 1, 2019 to May 2, 2019 Phuket recorded 144 cases of dengue fever and no deaths – a morbidity rate of 35.76 per 100,000 based on the official registered population of 402,707.
The national morbidity rate currently stands at 27.41 per 100,000 meaning Phuket has over 30% more cases than the national average.
However, it is openly accepted that after accounting for the number of Thais living on the island but not registered here, plus the expats living in Phuket and the number of tourists on the island on any given day, the island’s population is very likely to be more than double the official figure. Hence Phuket’s morbidity figures are higher than the actual numbers.
Breaking down the report, Kathu District recorded the highest morbidity rate with 38 cases or 66.78 per 100,000 when the report was compiled. Thalang District had 37 cases (36.23 per 100,000), and Mueang District (Phuket Town and the southern end of the island) had 68 cases (28.31 per 100,000).
In terms of subdistricts (tambon), Karon had 10 cases (125.55 per 100,000 people), Patong had 21 cases (99.88 per 100,000), Kamala had six cases (87.72 per 100,000), Koh Kaew had nine cases (61.98 per 100,000), and Pa Klok had 10 cases (61.15 per 100,000).
Southern Thailand recorded the highest morbidity rates in the country at 35.56 cases per 100,000 people. Northern Thailand was lowest at 16.10 per 100,000.
Between Jan 1, 2019 and Apr 30, 2019 there were 18,105 cases of dengue with 24 deaths recorded.
Dr Thanit explained that although the situation in Phuket is improving, the PPHO continues with its intensive measures to control and prevent the virus.
“The measures we implemented last year will continue as we work to reduce the number of mosquitoes and mosquito bites occurring by fogging and eliminating key breeding areas,” he said.