BANGKOK, Jan 7 – More than 70,000 people were infected with dengue fever last year and the spread of the tropical disease will possibly be more serious this year, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong said dengue normally spreads in the rainy season but Thailand has seen rising numbers of dengue infection during other seasons.
According to a report by the Disease Control Department, 74,250 people were infected with the disease – 79 fatally – last year, representing a proportion of 116 patients in 100,000 people.
The highest number of 30,562 patients were in the central region with Bangkok having the most at 9,569 patients.
Provincial health offices nationwide have been instructed to control the spread of dengue fever from the beginning of this year, without having to wait until the rainy season, the minister said.
Narong Sahamethapat, permanent secretary for public health, said dengue fever mainly infected children in the last decade but last year’s statistics found more than half — 52.44 per cent — of patients were older than 15 years.
The Public Health Ministry will closely monitor the spread of dengue fever and other contagious diseases throughout the country this year, he said.
More training will be given to village health volunteers so that they educate people on prevention of the disease, he said.