Dengue Fever on the Rise in Thailand

A blood-engorged female Aedes albopictus mosqu...
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Dengue fever is up 94% from last year. Currently, the most affected provinces are Narathiwat, Phayao, Krabi, Chiang Rai, Rayong, Songkhal, Pattani, Petchabun and Trat. Experts think that a longer raining season can be affecting the rise in the disease.

While I was living in Thailand as a teenager, I contracted dengue fever and spent one week in the hospital with an IV drip. Actually, I went to the local clinic and was first diagnosed with the flu. However, within the next two days my condition had worsened to the point that I was admitted to Samitivej Hospital. I was treated for the symptoms of the disease but I want not diagnosed with dengue until my blood tests returned from Australia. This was almost 12 years ago, so I hope that diagnosis for dengue is better now.

I highly recommend using insect repellent, even during the day, to avoid getting bit by the mosquitoes carrying this disease. Also, try to get rid of any pools or puddles of stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed. If you suspect you have dengue fever – get to the doctor quickly.

Basic Information on Dengue

Dengue (pronounced DENG-gay) fever is short for dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and is common in the tropics including South American and Southeast Asian countries. Dengue can be life-threatening, especially for very young children or elderly. Dengue differs from malaria in that it is equally common in urban areas as in rural areas, although they are both spread via mosquito vectors. Dengue is transmitted to humans by the striped Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito, which are daytime feeding mosquito.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

  • Fever, headaches, eye pain, severe dizziness and loss of appetite
  • hemorrhagic tendency (bruising, bleeding, vomiting blood or bloody diarrhea)
  • Thrombocytopenia – Low blood platelets

Dengue commonly strikes people with low levels of immunity. It is possible to get dengue fever multiple times even though an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to a particular serotype of the virus (there are 4 serotypes). Dengue goes by other names like “breakbone fever” from the intense joint and muscle pain often associated with the disease.