'War' on dengue fever

national June 15, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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The Public Health Ministry has announced it will push for the establishment of a dengue fever "war room" in all provinces.

The move follows a dengue fever pandemic that has claimed over 50 lives this year alone. As of June 11, 43,609 Thais have contracted dengue fever. So far, war rooms have been set up in only 26 of Thailand’s 77 provinces. 
“The number of dengue-fever patients has jumped nearly 3.1 times compared with the same period last year,” the Public Health Minis-try’s permanent secretary 
Dr Narong Sahametapat said yesterday.
He added that the number of deaths also soared dramatically, from five in 2012 to 50 in the first half of this year.
Narong said he was concerned the number of dengue-fever patients could jump two-fold over the next three months. 
He said the Public Health Ministry had requested that the Interior Ministry implement the plan to set up dengue fever war rooms in all 77 provinces. The war rooms would fall under the control of provincial governors – freeing the ministry from having to oversee them directly.
Disease Control Depart-ment’s director-general Dr Porntep Siriwanarangsun said he was very concerned about the spread of dengue fever to new provinces – especially Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phayao, Lampang and Tak.
He said the ministry would now focus on minimising the mortality rate. “If any patient comes down with a high fever that does not dissipate within three days, that person should immediately see a doctor for a proper diagnosis,” Pornthep said. 

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