With more than 40 deaths and almost 40,000 cases of dengue fever reported in Thailand so far this year, health experts are warning this could be the largest-ever epidemic.

“About 25 years ago we had a dengue outbreak of around 170,000 cases,” Pornthep Siriwanarangsun, the director of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, told IRIN. “This year, we expect 150,000 to 200,000 cases.”

Up to 200 people could die in a worst-case scenario, he said. Even if dengue cases surpass the 1987 record, the death toll that year of more than 1,000 is unlikely to be exceeded owing to improved health care and preventive measures.

There is still no vaccine for dengue, a mosquito-borne disease.
There is still no vaccine for dengue, a mosquito-borne disease.

 

Health officials claim that unseasonably wet and warm weather has made the situation worse, allowing mosquitoes to reproduce at a rapid rate. In May, the country reported 16,500 dengue cases, almost three times as many as in the previous month. In June there could be up to 30,000 cases, they say.

“Our country is now on high alert because we had way too many cases last month,” Siriwanarangsun said. “It’s normal to have only 50,000 to 70,000 cases each year.”

Dengue fever in Thailand
Year Cases Deaths Case Fatality Rate (CFR)
2009 30,480 9 0.03%
2010 60,770 35 0.06%
2011 38,639 16 0.04%
2012 78,542 82 0.10%
2013 39,029* 44 0.11%
*Figures from 1 January to 31 May 2013. Higher numbers expected in summer monsoon season.The worst-recorded epidemic occurred in 1987 which saw more than 174,000 cases and 1,007 deaths, with a CFR of 0.6 percent. Thai officials caution that 2013 may see 150,000 to 200,000 cases with up to 200 dead.
Sources: WHO, Thailand Ministry of Public Health

IRIN Asia | Record dengue season predicted in Thailand | Thailand | Health & Nutrition.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

Bangkok prepares to shift Covid-19 treatment from pandemic to endemic

Most Bangkok residents are fully vaccinated, with around 60 percent having at least 1 booster dose. These figures suggested that Bangkok might be ready to shift its strategy to managing Covid-19 as an endemic disease.

Thailand quarantines 12 crew members and passengers on Monkeypox alert

The 12 crew members and passengers on the same flight, who were in close contact with the infected traveller, have now been quarantined in Thailand for seven days.

Vietnam’s Health Supplement Market: Trends, Opportunities, Market Entry

The growing demand for health supplements has resulted in increased usage of imported products as people tend to trust these brands more than domestic ones. Foreign brands tend to be positioned in the premium segment to attract mid-to-high-end consumers, while local brands generally concentrate on the mass market.