Dengue and cholera outbreaks bring warnings after 30 die
BANGKOK: — The Public Health Ministry has ordered its officials across the country to keep a close eye on the outbreak of two communicable diseases, dengue fever and cholera, following reports these illnesses have killed 30 people over the past six months.
Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said 26,185 dengue fever infection cases had been reported and six people had died during the past week alone. Two victims were in Songkhla province and one each in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, and Chai Nat.
The Ministry reported the Central region was the hardest hit with 9,823 cases, followed by 6,976 in the South, 6,579 in the Northeast, and 2,807 in the North.
Deputy Health Minister Pannasiri Kullanartsiri said people aged between 15 and 24 were the most vulnerable to dengue fever infection, followed by children between 10 to 14, and those from 5 to 9.
Jurin added he had also ordered public health officials to monitor the spread of cholera after reports of five deaths. Three cases were in Pattani and the rest in Songkhla and Tak.
Officials reported 982 people infected by the food-borne disease during the past six months. Among the infected, 708 were Thai, and 274 migrant workers.
Southern region has the highest number of people infected with cholera with 505 cases, followed by the North with 279, the Northeast with 166, and the Central region with 32 cases.
A cholera outbreak in 2007 infected 986 people and seven people died. The number of infections was reduced in 2008 to 200, and in 2009 to 300 cases, with 2-3 deaths a year.
The Public Health Ministry has issued a warning to people to protect themselves from infection by eating cooked and hot food, using a middle spoon and washing hands frequently.
For exported food products, Department of Disease Control’s director-general Dr Manit Teeratantikanont said the department had strictly checked bacterial contamination among exports. Any food products with bacteria contamination would not be allowed to leave the country.