Thailand facing rising dengue fever infections

Thailand's health minister recently announced that more than 50,000 citizens have been infected with dengue fever so far this year, resulting in 63 deaths.

Deputy Public Health Minister Pansiri Kulanartsiri told Health.AsiaOne.Com that the dengue fever epidemic hitting the country has raised infection rates 83 percent from this same period last year.

According to Health.AsiaOne.Com, 13,045 people have been infected with dengue in the nation's south region, 14,509 in the central region, 13,635 in the northeast and 7,325 in the north. Seven of the infected were younger than four weeks old and 409 were older than 65.

Dr. Manit Teeratantikanontm, the Department of Disease Control's director-general, told Health.AsiaOne.Com that 80 percent of patients contracted dengue fever from mosquito bites in their own homes.

Teeratantikanontm added that the number of infected people indicates that the quantity of common house mosquitoes carrying dengue fever must be high.

Pansiri, noting that there is no vaccination currently available to prevent dengue fever, said that households should reduce their number of mosquitos to protect themselves. Vessels that hold water should be changed every seven days to lower the chance of mosquito larvae. Vessels should also be covered if they hold water as a means of preventing mosquitoes from laying eggs.