Residents of Thailand – and especially those in Bangkok, neighbouring provinces and large southern cities – must stay alert to the danger of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases even beyond the rainy season, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) warned on Thursday.
Rainfall has persisted this cool season and the Aedes aegypti mosquito has plenty of places to breed, said DDC director-general Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai.
He said 1,279 people were treated for dengue in Bangkok and vicinity, Phuket, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla and Krabi between January 1 and 29.
The figure was lower than in the same period last year and no one has died thus far in 2018, whereas the disease killed three people last year, he said.
Suwannachai said, however, that a Surveillance and Rapid Response Team from the DDC 11th Office in Nakhon Si Thammarat is consulting health officials in Surat Thani about a “rumour” that a child had died of dengue fever last month in the South. The results of lab tests are awaited, he said.
Suwannachai urged people to keep their homes clean and uncluttered, eliminate dark corners, dispose of trash regularly and store water only in covered containers.
These steps are essential to prevent the Aedes aegypti mosquito from laying eggs and spreading dengue fever, the Zika virus and Chikungunya fever.
DDC Bureau of Vector-borne Diseases director Dr Preecha Prempree advised anyone with persistent high fever and unusual muscle and joint pain and skin rashes to see a doctor.
Urgent medical treatment is essential if there is a sudden drop in blood pressure, bleeding from the gums or nose, or blood in the urine, stools or vomit.
Information and help is available on the DDC hotline, 1422.