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Dengue infects over 59,000, kills 69 in Thailand

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Accumulated wastewater, rubbish in Rim Bung Makkasan, Bangkok, Thailand | CCTV via REUTERS

Thailand has seen over 59,000 patients infected with dengue fever, 69 of whom died from the disease, according to the figures given by the country’s health department in September.

In Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, the latest number of dengue sufferers is 5,899 with five deaths. Two victims came from the slum of Rim Bung Makkasan, one of the most dengue-hit areas in the city.

The sanitary condition in Rim Bung Makkasan is so bad, with a large amount of rubbish piled up there, and smelly wastewater accumulated in low-lying areas, which provide a suitable environment for insects like mosquitoes to grow up in the rainy season, intensifying the epidemic situation here.

Most of the residents living in the shanties in Rim Bung Makkasan are migrant workers and their children and elder family members.

For Uraiphon, her son and grandson were both infected with dengue, and the disease claimed the life of her son days ago.

Uraiphon said there are about 200 people in the slum, some of whom suffered dengue, but now the situation is getting better.

“After my son died of dengue, no one more was diagnosed with the disease here,” said Uraiphon.

Now Bangkok’s disease control department has taken measures to hold back dengue from spreading by killing mosquitoes and eliminating accumulated water.

“The government dispatched workers like avenue leader and medical staffers to help us wipe out disease. The mosquitoes were reproduced from wastewater and rubbish. In recent days, the government is conducting us to work at the sanitary work. We cooperated with each other to make the environment better. We thank them very much,” said Somtawin, another resident in Rim Bung Makkasan

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne contagious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. After infected, the patients will have symptoms like fever, headache, and arthralgia. Now there has no efficient drug to fight against the disease.

In Thailand, the peak time of dengue breakout is the rainy season from July to September. The data from the Thai health department indicate that last year, 9,368 people in Bangkok were infected with Dengue, six of whom lost their lives. — Reuters

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WHO warns: Dengue to likely increase in rainy season; calls for action

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning on the alarming increase of dengue cases in some parts of Asia.

In an advisory released on Wednesday (June12), the WHO said several Asian countries are experiencing unusually high numbers of dengue cases for this time of year.

With the rainy season approaching, the WHO is calling for action to minimize illness and deaths from dengue.

“Dengue is one of the fastest-spreading mosquito-borne diseases. Worldwide, the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the past 50 years,” the news release said.

It added that, “of an estimated 2.5 billion people at risk for dengue globally, about 70% live in Asia Pacific countries. Climate conditions, unclean environments, unplanned urban settlements and rapid urbanization can lead to increased mosquito breeding, especially in urban and semi-urban areas.”

It further said, “several countries in the WHO Western Pacific Region such as Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam have observed early increases in the number of dengue cases reported so far this year.”

In Cambodia, more than 1300 suspected cases were reported in week 21 alone — a level which is higher than expected for this time of the year.

In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, as of week 21, a total of 4,216 suspected cases including 14 deaths have been reported.

In Malaysia, a total of 52,941 cases including 81 deaths were reported during the first 22 weeks of 2019.

In Singapore, as of week 21 of 2019, there were a total of 3,886 cases reported.

In Viet Nam, there have been a total of 59,959 suspected cases reported including four deaths as of week 19.

In the Philippines, a total of 77,040 suspected cases of dengue, including 328 deaths, were reported in the first 20 weeks of 2019.

The WHO said, “this is almost double the 41,104 cases reported during the same time period last year. Case numbers remain high, but as they are starting to decline, the rainy season is approaching.”

“The increased number of cases is of concern, but even more worrying is the increase in the rate of people dying from dengue, especially children,” said Dr Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, adding that “this is a signal that we need to work with countries to strengthen care as well as prevention.”

“Health workers in dengue-endemic areas must be able to recognize the symptoms of dengue and the warning signs of severe dengue, do diagnostic tests and provide life-saving care. Also, families need to know what symptoms to look for and where to get early medical attention. This is especially urgent with the rainy season coming to many parts of Asia,” he added.

Call for action

The WHO advisory said that there is no specific treatment for dengue but early detection, improved clinical management and access to proper medical care for severe dengue can reduce fatality rates.

The international health body recommends that dengue-endemic countries continue educating the population and health workers on recognizing dengue symptoms and the warning signs of severe dengue.

It added that appropriate home care with adequate hydration and rest during the early stages can minimize the risk of the disease becoming severe.

The WHO also urges countries to train health professionals on the diagnosis and proper management of dengue and to prepare health centers and hospitals for effective response in case of outbreaks and influxes of patients.

WHO also encourages governments and communities to reduce the spread of dengue by informing the public of how to clean up mosquito breeding sites.

“With these measures, we can minimize the impact of dengue on people in our Region and save lives,” said Dr. Kasai.

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Thais surprised by new queen ahead of coronation

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

(L-R) Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida during their wedding ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, May 1, 2019. | Courtesy : Reuters

Many Thais said on Thursday (May 2) they were excited to see the newly named Queen Suthida while others said they were surprised since there were no signs of an impending royal wedding before the marriage announcement.

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn announced on Wednesday (May 1) that he has married Suthida Tidjai, the deputy head of his personal guard force and a former flight attendant for Thai Airways, and released footage of a wedding ceremony to all Thai television channels.

Vajiralongkorn, 66, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

He is due to be officially crowned in elaborate Buddhist and Brahmin ceremonies on Saturday (May 4), followed by a procession through Bangkok the next day.

In 2014, Vajiralongkorn appointed Suthida as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit.

Some royal observers and foreign media had linked Suthida romantically with the king, but the palace had previously never acknowledged a relationship between them.

Vajiralongkorn was previously married and divorced three times and has seven children. (REUTERS)

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Thai king names his consort queen days before coronation

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

(L-R) Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida during their wedding ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, May 1, 2019.

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn announced on Wednesday (May 1) that he had married his consort, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn, and named her Queen Suthida.

The announcement, carried in the Royal Gazette, came just before the official coronation of the king, 66, on May 4-6.

Vajiralongkorn, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016, after 70 years on the throne.

In 2014, Vajiralongkorn appointed Suthida Tidjai, a former flight attendant for Thai Airways, as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit.

Some royal observers and foreign media have linked Suthida romantically with the king, but the palace had previously never acknowledged a relationship between them. (REUTERS)

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