More than 21,000 patients suffering from dengue fever have been treated in Thailand during the first half of this year, with 17 persons having died from the rainy season disease, a senior public health ministry official said Saturday.
Bureau of Vector-Borne Diseases director Dr. Wichai Satimai said a total of 21,251 dengue fever patients were identified during the first six months of 2007, representing a 36 per cent increase from the corresponding period of last year.
Seventeen Thai victims died during the period. The sharp increase in the number of patients during the period was attributed to the early onset of the rainy season in Thailand, causing the quick breeding of
dengue-carrying striped mosquitoes, said Dr. Wichai.
The incidence of dengue has been significantly on the rise in other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore also increased during the period, he added.
Earlier this week Cambodia reported 132 deaths from dengue fever in June alone, and asked for Thai government medical assistance, which is being extended.
Vietnam, meanwhile, has recorded 24,255 cases of this tropical fever during the first half of the year, which is over a 20 percent increase from last year. To date, 27 people have died from dengue, as against 17 deaths in the first half of 2006.
Report from Thaigers
There is no treatment or vaccine for dengue fever. The only way to prevent it is to remove the mosquitoes' breeding grounds. Dengue is commonly called "break bone fever."