Cases of dengue fever are on the rise in Thailand, with an increase reported in Phuket, Chon Buri, Bangkok, and 15 other provinces. The Phuket Express reports that the rise in cases was confirmed by Thailand’s Department of Disease Control yesterday, July 24.
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DDC director-general Tares Krassanairawiwong says that in the last 8 weeks, dengue cases have been rising in Phuket, Chonburi, Bangkok, Krabi, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao, Tak, Phetchaburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Songkhla, Satun and Narathiwat.
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Following the rise in cases, Tares held an online meeting with provincial health officials in 30 districts of the 18 provinces. The DDC chief says the increase in cases in the last 4 weeks has exceeded the number of cases from the last 5 years during the same period.
What this means, according to Tares, is that dengue fever is close to being declared an epidemic in those areas. When there is a sustained increase in dengue cases, necessitating increased control measures, the DDC has the power to categorise affected areas as “epidemic zones”.
In such areas, health officials are permitted to enter houses, buildings, or vehicles confirmed to have had a dengue outbreak, in order to carry out surveillance and implement disease control measures.
These can include surveying potential mosquito breeding sites, destroying such sites, and using chemicals to kill mosquitoes in and around properties.
Tares says the DDC is working with the Interior Ministry to deploy personnel to fight the spread of the virus. Relevant government agencies have also been tasked with providing resources to reduce the number of cases in their areas as a matter of urgency.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express