The Thailand Bureau of Epidemiology reported a 61 percent increase in melioidosis cases last year compared to what was reported in 2021.
According to disease surveillance data in 2022, 3559 melioidosis patients were reported from 70 of Thailand’s 77 provinces, representing a illness rate of 5.38 per 100,000 population.
The seven provinces not recording any cases include Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sing Buri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Mae Hong Son and Ranong.
This is up from 2206 cases from 63 provinces in 2021.
In addition, 97 deaths were recorded in 2022–a dramatic increase compared to the six fatalities seen in 2021.
During the first 16 days of 2023, Thailand has reported 110 melioidosis cases from 20 provinces and no deaths.
Melioidosis is caused by direct contact with Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is found in contaminated soil and water.
Cases are most common in areas of the world with tropical and sub-tropical climates–South and Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and parts of Central and South America and Puerto Rico.
Melioidosis has a wide range of nonspecific symptoms like fever, joint pain, and headaches and can cause conditions that include pneumonia, abscess formation, or blood infections. Worldwide, melioidosis is fatal in 10 – 50% of those infected.