The Ministry of Public Health has instructed its local offices nationwide to urge people to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, to prevent a dengue fever outbreak as Thailand begins easing into the rainy season.
According to the Department of Disease Control, more than 7,500 people have been infected with dengue virus since the beginning of this year with the majority of patients in the South of Thailand.
The Department expects the number of dengue fever patients to be higher this year. Deputy Permanent-Secretary to the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong has told the public health office in each province to encourage people to destroy the breeding grounds of aedes mosquitos around their own homes and public places. This means checking out your outdoors and removing any pooled water and damp moist places as potential mosquito breeding hot spots.
Those infected by the virus will develop a fever with a temperature of up to 40 degrees Celsius within 5-8 days after a mosquito bite. Symptoms may include red rashes, vomiting, having a headache and a runny nose. They should be taken to the hospital immediately if the fever does not come down within two days of taking medicine. South-east Asia has been declared the region with the greatest risk of contracting dengue by the World Health Organisation.
Instances of Dengue are on the rise so risk factors need to be considered. The aedesaegypti is also known as the tiger mosquito with the distinctive black and white stripes. Conservatively, at least 50 million people contract dengue each year. Dengue is thought to cause around 20,000 deaths per year.