Health officials in Thailand are reporting an additional 6,000 dengue fever cases during the past week bringing the total cases through the first 11 months of 2015 to 123,168 representing all 77 provinces.


Three more deaths were recorded with the total through November at 116.

The number of cases this year is some 200 percent higher than 2014; however, it is less than what was reported in 2013 year-to-date.

Dengue fever cases are high in many Asian countries this year- the Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia are all reporting significant, and in the case of Taiwan, record numbers.

According to the World Health Organization, Dengue is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with one of the four dengue virus serotypes. It is a febrile illness that affects infants, young children and adults with symptoms appearing 3-14 days after the infective bite.

Dengue is not transmitted directly from person-to-person and symptoms range from mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. There is no vaccine or any specific medicine to treat dengue. People who have dengue fever should rest, drink plenty of fluids and reduce the fever using paracetamol or see a doctor.

Severe dengue (also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever) is characterized by fever, abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding and breathing difficulty and is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children. Early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by trained physicians and nurses increase survival of patients.

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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