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Leptospirosis outbreak reported in Isan

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NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 12 July 2012 (NNT) – The Office of Disease Prevention and Control in Nakhon Ratchasima has disclosed that more people have contracted leptospirosis at a much faster rate in the northeastern region of Thailand.

According to Dr. Theerawat Walaisathien, Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Control Region 5 in Nakhon Ratchasima, 567 people in the Lower Northeast of Thailand, consisting of Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram, Surin and Si Sa Ket provinces, have been admitted to the hospital after contracting leptospirosis. Nine patients have been pronounced dead so far.

It is reported that rice farmers are most vulnerable to leptospirosis as their legs are constantly submerged under the water while working in the paddy fields. With the arrival of the rainy season, rice cultivation has begun, prompting the infection rate to skyrocket accordingly.

The number of patients in Chaiyaphum leapt from 13 in June to 326 this month, which is the highest in the region, although no one has died in this province. Surin has the second highest rate of infection, with 106 cases, while 5 people have succumbed to the disease. Nakhon Ratchasima currently has 50 cases of infection and 4 fatalities while Buri Ram has 85 cases and no deaths.

Officials at the Office of Disease Prevention and Control Region 5 have been instructed to educate local residents on how to protect themselves against leptospirosis and to closely monitor the spread, which is expected to last until winter.

Read more: NNT


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