Residents of provinces in the upper South have been warned that dengue could spread now that rains have arrived.
Doctor Sirilak Thaicharoen, director of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s 11th Disease Control Office, said 1,165 people in seven upper South provinces had contracted dengue virus this year resulting in one death so far.
She said most of the dengue patients were children between the ages of 10 and 14, though those aged 5 to 9 years old are the second-biggest age group affected.
Nakhon Si Thammarat has the largest number of dengue patients, followed by Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Ranong, Surat Thani and Chumphon, Sirilak added.
She said the number of patients is expected to rise as rain has begun falling in some southern provinces.
Nationwide, 12,545 people have caught the virus this year resulting in 14 deaths, she said.
Dengue is spread by mosquito bites. Between 4 to 7 days after a bite from an infected mosquito, victims develop flu-like symptoms which include a sudden high fever coming in separate waves, pain behind the eyes, muscle, joint and bone pain, severe headache and a skin rash with red spots. There is no antiviral treatment available.
The main way to prevent its spread is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
Use a repellent containing 20-30 per cent DEET or 20 per cent Picaridin and wear neutral-coloured (beige, light grey) clothing. If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and spray your outer layer of clothing with mosquito repellent. Meanwhile get rid of water containers around dwellings and ensure that door and window screens work properly.