Thailand health officials are expecting dengue fever to rise in 2016, in fact, experts say the number of cases this year could rival 1987 when 170,000 cases were reported.


The Thai Health Ministry is expecting dengue cases to rise by more than 16 percent this year. “More people are moving to the capital and that’s why it’s worse there than in the provinces or small towns. It’s spreading because of urbanization and a lack of mosquito control,” said Dr. Duangporn Pinsrilesikul from the Health Department of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

In 2016 through Jan. 25, the Bureau of Epidemiology reported a total of 2752 cases from 75 provinces. No deaths have been recorded this year to date.

The five areas with the highest dengue morbidity rate were Nakornpathom, Trad,  Srisaket, Songkla and Phuket.

In addition, Thai health officials are calming the public over the recent Zika virus epidemic spreading through the Americas noting that the virus is not being reported at epidemic levels in Thailand.

The virus, first discovered in Thailand in 2012, infects about 5 patients each year. There’s only been one known case so far this year. On Jan. 10, Taiwan announced it found the virus in a 24-year-old Thai man traveling from northern Thailand.