According to the Thai Bureau of Epidemiology at the Department of Disease Control, there have already been more than 28 thousand cases and 53 death cases from the mosquito-borne Dengue virus. Last year, there were only 33 death cases. The Chiang Rai Times reports that medics have commented on the situation as “one of the most severe Dengue outbreaks in recent years.” The article also states that health officials have reported more than 40 thousand cases which is 1.6 times more than that of 2018.
Dr. Cheewanan Lertpiriyasuwat, the Vector-Borne Disease Bureau Director at the country’s Department of Disease Control (DDC) stated that the “current Dengue outbreak situation was worrisome.” She also underlined that the prevalence of Dengue Fever in Thailand has increased significantly from last year’s figure of 38.6 people per 100,000 of the population to about 61 people per 100,000. The Thaiger reported that the Public Health Ministry has signed an agreement with seven state agencies to control mosquito larvae during the annual wet-season which is when cases peak each year. It continues to report that the Defense Ministry, Tourism and Sports Ministry, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Interior Ministry, Culture Ministry, Education Ministry, and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are going to co-ordinate improvements for the control of mosquito larvae.
If there are agreements signed by the different departments and ministries as stated above, it is an indication that the nation’s authorities are taking initiatives in battling the spreading diseases which cause severe threats and death to the people of Thailand. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause Dengue, and they are DEN 1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4. Since Dengue is a viral infection disease which is caused by the transmission of a bite by a mosquito, it is difficult to terminate the disease especially when mosquitoes are found in most places such as tall grasses and weeds near inhabited locations.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant, standing freshwater and are oftentimes found around the home including inside tin cans, buckets, discarded tires, and other artificial containers. Insect sprays and insect incense are commonly used in Southeast Asian nations like Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. According to Outbreak News Today, Dengue Fever is also classified into different types which provide different symptoms and levels of threat. Dengue Fever (DF) is marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degrees of bleeding from various parts of the body. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a more severe form, seen only in a small proportion of those infected. DHF is a stereotypic illness characterized by 3 phases; febrile phase with high continuous fever usually lasting for less than 7 days; critical phase (plasma leaking) lasting 1-2 days usually apparent when fever comes down, leading to shock if not detected and treated early; convalescence phase lasting 2-5 days with improvement of appetite, bradycardia, convalescent rash (white patches in red background), often accompanied by generalized itching (more intense in palms and soles), and diuresis (increase urine output). Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) is a dangerous complication of Dengue infection and is associated with high mortality. Severe Dengue occurs as a result of secondary infection with a different virus serotype. Increased vascular permeability, together with myocardial dysfunction and dehydration, contribute to the development of shock, with results in multi-organ failure.
All in all, the outbreak of Dengue Fever has been spreading across Thailand and is extremely life-threatening to the population. The government is taking massive initiatives to encounter the issue in the hopes of preventing further escalation of the virus.