With the number of dengue fever cases in Thailand increasing ever closer to 100,000 in 2015, the other notorious and more dreaded mosquito borne infectious disease is inching toward infecting 5,000 people in the Thai Kingdom.
Bureau of Epidemiology officials report through Oct. 9, Thailand has seen 4,888 malaria cases, including 4 deaths. The western regions of the country report the highest morbidity rates per 100,000 population.
Health officials say the hardest hit areas include Tak, Ubolrachathani, Maehongsorn, Ranong and Kanchanaburi.
Approximately half the cases were due to Plasmodium vivax, while one quarter each were attributed to P. falciparum and “Unknown” variety of malaria.
Malaria is considered the most important parasitic disease affecting humans. The female Anopheles mosquito serves as the vector for the parasite.
The mosquito-borne disease continues to sicken and kill far too many people each year, most of them children. In 2012, roughly 207 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide resulting in 627,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2013, 97 countries had ongoing malaria transmission, placing 3.4 billion people at risk for the disease.
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch
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