Thailand is currently in the midst of a severe health crisis as the number of dengue fever cases continues to rise. In January 2024 alone, there were 8,197 confirmed cases and 13 reported deaths due to the mosquito-borne viral infection. This marks a significant increase from the same period in the previous year, prompting local medical experts to call for more stringent measures to address this crisis.
Dr Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn, the Director-General of the Disease Control Department (DCD), has issued a warning to the public, emphasizing the importance of proactive measures to protect against mosquito bites. Children between the ages of five and 14 are particularly vulnerable, making up the majority of reported cases. The southern and central provinces of Thailand have been identified as hotspots for dengue fever, requiring increased vigilance in these areas. Hospitals treating dengue patients have been instructed to provide anti-mosquito cream or spray to protect other patients from the virus.
The dengue crisis in Thailand has also affected tourists, with some visitors contracting the disease during their stay. Authorities are deeply concerned about this situation and are urging individuals to protect themselves from mosquito bites and seek medical attention if symptoms arise. The case of a foreign tourist who faced significant hardship after being bitten by a mosquito highlights the seriousness of the issue for both locals and visitors.
In addition to dengue fever, Thailand is also dealing with other mosquito-borne threats, including the Zika virus. Pregnant women in specific areas have been warned to take urgent precautions due to reported Zika cases.
The recent hospitalization of Danish actors Anna Stokholm and Simon Stenspil during their vacation in Thailand further underscores the global nature of the issue. Stenspil, who had recovered from the flu, was diagnosed with dengue fever and is currently hospitalized for observation. This incident serves as a reminder of the vulnerability faced by individuals in tropical regions and the need for heightened awareness.
The Disease Control Department’s declaration of a pandemic alert highlights the gravity of the situation. Immediate and coordinated efforts are required to curb the spread of dengue fever, as the number of cases continues to rise. Communities are urged to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, hospitals to distribute mosquito repellents, and individuals to seek prompt medical attention for symptoms.
Thailand is currently facing a dengue fever crisis, with a significant increase in cases and deaths. Authorities are taking measures to address the situation, including issuing warnings, implementing preventive strategies, and stressing the importance of immediate medical attention. The impact on both locals and tourists emphasizes the severity of the issue, urging governments and communities to work together to mitigate the spread of this mosquito-borne viral infection.