Malaria Dengue Fever and Chikungunya
When we think of transmitted mosquito diseases malaria comes to mind right away, but do you know dengue fever? from Kiswahili dinga (in full kidingapopo). Thailand itself is not a mosquito-infested country and is in the average for a tropical country.
Thailand is a relatively flat country, the plains and rice fields are preserved and malaria is mainly located, especially during the rainy season, in forest and borders areas of Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. The provinces of Kalasin, Krabi (Plai Phraya District), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phang Nga (including Phang Nga City), Rayong, Sakon Nakhon, Songkhla, Surat Thani, and Yala, mostly the rural forest and forest perimeter areas of these provinces. However, rare cases in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chang Rai, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Phuket. No cases have been reported from the islands of Krabi Province and Pattaya City. In affected areas, there is a risk of transmission only at night through the female Anopheles which are very aggressive at dusk and dawn. Thailand hopes to eradicate malaria by 2024. 11440 cases in 2017 ( (11 deaths), down nearly 60 percent from 2016.
In 2016, the number of cases was 219 million in 87 countries and 435,000 died from it. Since 2009, a vaccine is being studied and for more information, I invite you to read the latest report from the World Health Organization on the progress made.
Dengue Fever the World’s Fastest Spreading Tropical Disease
I a few years ago in Merida (Mexico) was a victim of the dengue fever and I do not wish anyone to contact this disease. I would abstain from details but I remember that I was unable to move even my little finger for two weeks and was somewhere else but not in this world and I don’t remember drinking so much water since this that bad time. In August this year, a friend of mine in the South-West of Thailand was badly infected and just start to recover after three weeks in bed with a high fever. It’s incredible what a so small thing can do to the human.
The disease is also called ‘break-bone’. Endemic disease in Thailand is at the time when I write these lines (Nov.2018) severely affected throughout the country by this disease spread by a female mosquito the Aedes aegypti (tiger mosquito) which unlike the Anopheles is also active during the day, as well as the rate of being infected is higher during the rainy season and is more frequent in urban areas around habitations. For at least a week after the onset of symptoms, the infected person can infect a disease-free mosquito that could then bite and transmit the disease to other people. Like their Anopheles friends, they feed at dusk and dawn, in areas of stagnant water, in shade or on cloudy days, but also indoors, where wet showers and toilets are their favorite house places. No specific treatment and only long clothing and mosquito repellents on the skin can protect you. Since 2016 there is a dengue vaccine but it does not provide complete protection for the virus, and should only be used in people who were previously infected. Aspirin is not recommended at all it can increase the risk of bleeding.
- Symptoms: a Severe headache, Pain behind the eyes, Nausea, Vomiting, Swollen glands, Muscle and joint pains, Rash.
- Severe dengue: Abdominal pain, Persistent vomiting, Bleeding gums, Blood in vomit, Fatigue, Restlessness.
In the first nine months of this year, 6,1917 cases in the 77 provinces, including 5,899 in Bangkok were reported by Thai health authorities. 80 of them died.
It is estimated that at least 400 million people contract dengue fever each year, 500,000 cases develop to more severe hemorrhagic fever, and 20,000 to 25,000 people die annually worldwide.
A promising new vaccine
27 victims, including 12 children in Thailand, died in the first 3 months of 2019 from dengue fever.
By the end of November 2019 and according to health officials, at least 136,000 cases have been reported. More than 110 deaths have been confirmed. The provinces most affected are Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Rai, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima and Rayong.
Chikungunya is also present in Thailand, even epidemic, and 2018 was particularly in the southwest a very bad year where there were many cases, 2,143 through from the 1st of January to the Dec.10. Also but very rarely, very few cases of Japanese encephalitis. mainly in the northern region (Chiang Mai) and isolated cases have been reported in the Sukhothai and Phitsanulok provinces, suburban Bangkok, and in the south of the country. Transmission is throughout the year with seasonal peaks from May to October in the northern.
In 2019, 10,146 cases of chikungunya were reported in 56 provinces up to 24 November. The provinces most affected are Pattani, Ranong, Tak, Phuket and Songkhla. No deaths have been reported.
Should I Take a Treatment?
If you ask me, my answer is no. But I am not a doctor and I advise you to seek the opinion of your doctor before taking a decision. Thailand has a clinic specializing in the prevention and treatment of tropical diseases to prevent and treat tropical diseases which I invite you to visit the website Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University before your voyage.
What are the Most Effective Products for Mosquito Bite Prevention?
N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, also called DEET is a yellowish oil applied to the skin or clothing that offers protection against mosquitoes and many other insects. An equally effective and durable product, lemon eucalyptus oil. Recently research by a university in New Mexico has published an interesting review of their experiment on repellents that work best and also on homemade repellents.
Those that Don’t Work
Vitamin B1 patches, lemongrass candles, and bracelets. Although these products contain a variety of oils, including citronella, they do not repel mosquitoes. As for ultrasonic devices products no scientific evidence that mosquitoes are driven away by the sound.
To make sure to protect yourself I recommend you to wear white shirts (mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors) and trousers in the evenings and daytime carry a repellent to spray yourself with one containing DEET but not worth getting over 30%, beyond that is toxic. You can find repellents in the supermarket, pharmacy or 7/11 shops around Thailand but If you have a favorite and trusted’s brand that you like using, go ahead and bring it!
Take good care of yourself