Thailand braces for record dengue fever epidemic

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Dengue fever risk
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With reports of dengue fever outbreaks from all over the country, and the rainy season still more than two months to go, Thailand could face one of the largest dengue fever epidemics ever with the Public Health Ministry anticipating that 150,000 to 200,000 people could contract the virus in 2013.

That would surpass the number of infections during the major outbreak in 2010 with 118,700 people infected, and of earlier epidemics such as more than 170,000 cases reported in 1986, .

82,000 cases have already been reported countrywide so far this year, and 78 deaths have been attributed to the mosquito-borne disease as of July 26, mostly young people. More than 4,000 cases had been documented in Bangkok as of mid-June, and the government vowed that it would spray chemicals to stem the mosquito infestation. Hospitals nationwide are also on alert.

Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, as well as a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Dengue is transmitted by several species of Aedes mosquitoes whose prevalence is supported by climate change causing warmer temperatures and irregular rainfall, and such conditions benefit the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, experts said.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Click to enlarge

With reports of dengue fever outbreaks from all over the country, and the rainy season still more than two months to go, Thailand could face one of the largest dengue fever epidemics ever with the Public Health Ministry anticipating that 150,000 to 200,000 people could contract the virus in 2013.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Dengue fever risk
Click to enlarge

With reports of dengue fever outbreaks from all over the country, and the rainy season still more than two months to go, Thailand could face one of the largest dengue fever epidemics ever with the Public Health Ministry anticipating that 150,000 to 200,000 people could contract the virus in 2013.

That would surpass the number of infections during the major outbreak in 2010 with 118,700 people infected, and of earlier epidemics such as more than 170,000 cases reported in 1986, .

82,000 cases have already been reported countrywide so far this year, and 78 deaths have been attributed to the mosquito-borne disease as of July 26, mostly young people. More than 4,000 cases had been documented in Bangkok as of mid-June, and the government vowed that it would spray chemicals to stem the mosquito infestation. Hospitals nationwide are also on alert.

Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, as well as a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Dengue is transmitted by several species of Aedes mosquitoes whose prevalence is supported by climate change causing warmer temperatures and irregular rainfall, and such conditions benefit the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, experts said.

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