Thailand wanrs of dengue outbreak

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - The Public Health Ministry of Thailand has warned of a dengue-fever outbreak after reports that 20,000 people have been stricken during the past six months, 13 of them fatally.

Elderly people and children aged under one year are most at risk of dengue-fever infection, the ministry's permanent secretary Dr Paijit Warachit warned.

"People who have a high fever, fatigue or stomach-ache, or vomit or cannot eat, should seek treatment," Paijit said.

The continuing seasonal rainfall this year has increased the number of mosquitoes carrying the virus that causes dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Children below one year and elderly sufferers from chronic ailments - such as diabetes and high blood pressure - may develop severe symptoms after infection but are often unable to tell others of their illness.

According to Public Health Ministry records, from January to June, 23,324 people were infected with the dengue virus. Of this number, 13 succumbed to the disease.

The record also showed that 52 per cent of the total number of dengue cases were aged between 10 and 24 years. About 650 cases were children aged under one year, and 190 cases were aged over 65.

Aedes aegypti, a common species of mosquito, is the leading cause of this disease.

"We found that more than 80 per cent of mortality from dengue fever during July and August, the peak season for the disease, was caused by this common household mosquito," Paijit said.

Clinical Professor Siripen Kalayanarooj of the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health said the number of dengue infections had drastically increased among babies and the elderly in recent years.

"The dengue fever virus strikes children easily, as they have a low level of immunity against it," she said, even though they get some immunity from their mothers.

She said severe symptoms and mortality from dengue fever among elderly people, especially those who have congenital disease, were usually the result of a secondary infection.

She suggested that people who develop high fever for more than two days should undergo immediate diagnosis and treatment at hospital.

Aspirin and ibuprofen are not recommended to reduce fever or to treat the illness, as these two drugs could cause bleeding in the stomach, leading to death.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said.