By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Thailand Department of Disease Control (DDC) has reported 265 Streptococcus suis cases this year through August 17, including 23 deaths.

Image/Chun-San via pixabay

The disease were mostly found in the northern regions followed by the northeastern regions. Provinces with the highest cases were Uttaradit, Nakhonsawan, and Phrae respectively.

Most of the cases were the elderly male aged over 65 years old followed by the adult male aged over 45 years old. Occupations with the highest risk were farm workers and general laborers.

Streptococcus suis infection tends to occur sporadically especially in the high risk regions due to a risky behavior of eating local favorite food, i.e. raw pork with fresh blood (Lahp-moo) and close contact with pigs with no proper personal protection.

Bangkok to Chiang Rai

Human Streptococcus suis infection is a zoonotic infection associated with pigs. The infection can be fatal, particularly if the specific strain produces certain toxins. S. suis infection can manifest itself in meningitis, hearing impairment, toxic shock, septicemia and endocarditis.

It can be contracted either through ingesting raw pork or if it comes in contact with an open wound or mucous membrane.

To prevent the disease, members of the public are advised to always practise personal and environmental hygiene. They should avoid contact with pigs that are sick or dead from diseases and their excreta or body fluid. If contact with pigs or raw pork is necessary, one should: Use protective gloves; Wash hands after handling pigs or raw pork; and Clean and cover all wounds properly.

In 2018, Thailand reported 338 cases and 29 deaths.