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Dengue Fever in Thailand Provinces

Mosquitoes in Thailand are irritating and annoying but visitors to the Kingdom should be aware that dengue fever infections increase sharply during the rainy months and are significantly higher in certain provinces.

Dengue fever in Thailand is most prevalent and high risk during the wet season from May to October. Hot tropical humid weather, heavy rain, and standing water, combine to produce the ‘perfect storm’ for breeding mosquitoes and larvae propagation.

Areas Affected Most by Dengue in Thailand

With a population of more than 60 million people, recent studies suggest that around 1 in 2000 people get infected in Thailand (similar statistics to HIV/AIDS).

Statistics and guidelines suggest that expats who stay in Thailand for more than twenty years have very little chance (around 1%) of getting dengue (pronounced DENgay).

That is a much lower death risk than crossing the road or riding a motor bike.

Nonetheless, sufferers of the disease will have an abnormally high fever, aching bones and joints, and a loss of energy for several weeks.

Research and maps show that in recent years the northern city of Chiang Rai recorded the highest number of people who were infected with the mosquito borne disease of dengue fever in Thailand.

Studies carried out at tropical disease centers and Universities in Bangkok show that a death rate around eighty per cent occurred for patients in Thai rural areas.

Whereas, the rate was significantly lower around 20% for those in urban cities with access to professional and thorough medical treatment.

Health Warning: The infectious dengue fever virus in Thailand is on the rise. Despite not being as mosquito infested as some tropical regions of Africa or India, the risk to public health by infection clearly exists and endemic throughout much of Southeast Asia.

While most insect bites do not usually require hospitalization, it is important to know that contracting the mosquito-transmitted illness, sometimes called break-bone fever, is painful, debilitating, and a full recovery may take several weeks.

The disease is serious and can be fatal for some people in certain 'at-risk' areas of northern Thailand. If left untreated it can deteriorate to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

These are life-threatening infections mostly characterized by shock, massive bleeding, and death. People who have a subsequent infection or those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Aedesaegypti Mosquito Facts

The mosquito called Aedesaegypti is the insect accountable for carrying and transmitting the dengue virus between people.

The pest’s misdemeanors occur worldwide in more than one hundred countries and a World Health Organization (WHO) report suggests that 50 million people were infected in 2015.

What is Dengue Fever?

The dengue virus belongs with the family Flaviviridae. It is transmitted from the bite of infected mosquitoes (Aedesaegypti or Aedesalbopictus) to people and mammals. Contrary to common belief dengue fever is not contagious (passed person to person).

Nonetheless, it is believed to be the most widespread arthropod-borne disease of 2015. Vaccines do not currently exist and antibiotics are an ineffective treatment because it is a virus.

Dengue was termed 'breakbone fever' many centuries ago. Despite being given Rum to reduce the agony, disease-ridden patients experienced such severe bone and joint pain that it felt as if their bones were breaking.

Preventing Dengue Fever in Thailand

Until a vaccine is available, the best way to protect yourself and control the spread of dengue fever in Thailand is to reduce the likelihood of being bitten and keep the mosquito population down.

Help eradicate mosquitoes in Thailand: Do not provide watery places for mosquitoes to breed (e.g. discarded tyres, plant pots, trash cans, bird baths, water dishes, puddles).

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

If you are bitten by a virus-carrying mosquito, typical dengue infection symptoms appear after an incubation period around 5 to 8 days later. See a doctor if you experience these symptoms of dengue fever or visit the nearest Thai hospital if you feel worse after your fever calms down.

Common Symptoms of Dengue Include;

Treatment for Dengue Fever in Thailand

The best treatment for anyone who thinks they may have dengue fever in Thailand is seeking immediate medical attention.

Your doctor should recommend drinking plenty of fluids with electrolyte replacement to prevent dehydration and may prescribe medication such as Tylenol to relieve the pain and help reduce the fever.

Paracetamol is also a recommended treatment for pain relief, however, taking aspirin or ibuprofen may worsen bleeding. Getting plenty of rest is also an integral part of the recovery. Severe cases may require hospital admission.

Dengue Fever Vaccine

Until a vaccine for dengue has been produced, the best treatment is getting plenty of rest and following your doctor’s advice.

Researchers in Bangkok, Thailand have announced that they expect a vaccine will be available before 2020 for all strains of dengue hemorrhagic fever.

The Centre for Vaccine Development at Mahidol University’s Institute of Molecular Bio-sciences reported have been working on a vaccine for dengue since 2009.

The right to make this live attenuated vaccine was granted to a company in Japan and tests on monkeys yielded good results. Following the vaccination, immunity occurred two to four weeks later and could prevent dengue infection for five to 10 years.

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