Thailand health officials are advising the public that have a high fever during the rainy season to be cautious since they might have been infected with dengue fever. Through Sep. 28, the Thailand Bureau of Epidemiology has reported 80,951 cumulative dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue septic shock cases, including 82 deaths.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

Health officials report the highest proportion of cases by age group were 15-24 years old 28.46%, 10-14 years old 20.29% and 25-34 years old 14.97%.

The top five morbidity rate were from Rayong (418.30 / 100,000 population.) Petchburi (416.08 / 100,000 population.) Rachaburi (375.99 / 100,000 population.) Trad (325.72 / 100,000 population.) Uthaithani (321.64 / 100,000 population.)

Permanent Secretary for Public Health M.D.Sophon Mekthon said at-risk people included overweight people, diabetic patients and people with high blood pressure or asthma. In addition, Mekthon says those who had a high fever, headache, nausea suspect that they were infected with dengue fever. He advised them to seek medical care and not to buy medicines themselves, especially strong antipyretic and painkillers.

The US Centers fro Disease Control and Prevention says that more than one-third of the world’s population live in areas at risk for infection. Dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics with as many as 400 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today

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