Public Health stepping up dengue prevention following several deaths

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BANGKOK, 17 March 2013 (NNT) - The Public Health Ministry has stepped up the dengue prevention measures and the mosquito control after a number of children younger than 14 years of age have reportedly died from the fever.

Permanent Secretary of Public Health Ministry Dr. Narong Sahametapat cited information from the Department of Disease Control in reporting that around13,000 people across the country have contracted dengue fever during the first 3 months of this year.

He said that dengue patients are found in every province of Thailand and that the latest records of around 1,000-1,500 new cases emerged each week are considered 4 times higher than last year.

Dr. Narong stated more than half of more than a dozen people killed by the fever since the beginning of the year are below 14 years of age.

He elaborated that the highest dengue deaths were reported from Songkhla, where 5 were killed, while another 2 in Nakhon Si Thammarat succumbed to the deadly virus. At least one has died in Bangkok, Samut Prakarn, Nakhon Pathom, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Rayong, Pattani and Yala.

The Permanent Secretary of Public Health has instructed health officials in related provincial offices to encourage people to protect themselves against dengue fever and to make sure no water is kept in an open container as mosquitoes are often found using them as their breeding grounds.

Provincial health offices have also been ordered to hold training sessions for medical staffs to be extra-vigilant in their diagnosis in a bid to reduce dengue death toll.

Locals are also urged to seek immediate medical attention if they or their family members have suffered high fever for 3 consecutive days.