Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai yesterday (Sept 2) pointed out that from Jan 1 to Aug 28 this year, 65 people have died from dengue, with 50,079 people across the country having been confirmed as contracting the mosquito-borne disease.
Worse, the number of infections nationwide this year is up 50.2% on last year, confirms a DDC report posted last week. (See report here.)
The highest affected age range is 10 to 14 years old.
Regarding the latest two deaths in Surin province, Dr Swuannachai said that the deaths were currently under investigation.
“I have to wait for test results before we confirm the two people died from dengue,” he said.
Dr Suwannachai explained that the severity of the illness depends on whether a person had previously been infected with dengue.
“In the first infection, the symptoms are usually mild, with fever and muscle aches. Symptoms usually get worse when the second infection occurs with different strains. This will cause bleeding and shock,” he explained.
According to the latest DDC report, the five provinces with the highest rate of illness per 100,000 people are Nakhon Pathom, Phichit, Mae Hong Son, Phuket and Nakhon Sawan, respectively, making Phuket the fourth-highest in the country for infections per capita.
Meanwhile, Phuket still has the highest per capita infection rate in Southern Thailand with 152.16 infections per 100,000 from Jan 1 to Aug 28, followed by Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Krabi.
Phuket has had 594 infections during the period, the DDC noted in its report.
“I urge that people, communities and government agencies work together to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, with the emphasis on the ‘three steps of prevention’ model: 1) Keep the house clean. Do not have areas of dense foliage where mosquitoes like to breed, and clear containers of standing water; 2) Make sure waste containers are not left open; and 3) Keep lids on all water storage vessels to ensure mosquitoes cannot lay eggs there.
“People should also beware the initial signs of dengue. If any person has a high fever, headache, aches and pains, or worse, gastrointestinal redness, blood spots, vomiting and abdominal pain, they must see a doctor as soon as possible,” Dr Suwannachai urged.
“Not doing so may result in death,” he warned.