Dengue fever cases up by 40% in Thailand

From January 1 to February 9 of 2008, dengue struck 2,824 people in Thailand. During the same period last year, 1,702 were affected. The disease has killed four people so far this year. During 2007, 29 people died of dengue fever and 60,000 people came down with the illness.

According to Dr. Praj Boonyawongvirot, permanent secretary for Public Health, "there were signs the number of dengue fever patients would rise this year due to the effects of global warming and striped mosquitoes – which carried the disease – were now able to give birth faster and better withstand drought."

In 2004, scientists studying dengue in Thailand found the disease spreads outward, beginning in Bangkok: ". . .the disease radiates outward in a traveling wave from Bangkok . . . to infect every province in the country. According to the researchers' analysis, the spatial-temporal wave travels at a speed of 148 kilometers per month and takes about eight months to spread through the entire country."

There is no drug treatment for dengue.

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MCOT

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