Thailand has been struck by a serious
outbreak of dengue fever, it is nationwide and some areas are getting hit
harder than others. But what seems to be even more damaging is the
misinformation and rumors that are going around, based on what I am not
sure, certainly not the facts. If you were to believe the Chiang Mai
barstools, then you would think Chiang Mai was suffering a massive epidemic
far worse than the rest of the country, which is patently not true. Yes,
there are a lot of cases here but further South has been hit much harder.
Songkhla has the highest number of deaths followed by Nakhon Si Thammarat,
Surin and Loei. Trang has reported the highest number of cases. 570 cases a
day are being reported but not in Chiang Mai alone as per the rumors
spreading around town. That is 570 cases a day nationwide, still a pandemic
and the worst one the nation has seen in 25 years but not the numbers people
seem to think are occurring here in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai does have a growing problem with dengue, as does the entire
nation. Increased temperatures, more rain and higher urbanization are taking
the blame. Many people don’t seem to understand that they should not have
any standing water around their house. Mosquitoes can breed in the tiniest
pockets of water. If you water your plants, don’t let them sit in water. If
you have a pond or pool, add fish to eat the mosquito larvae. Put screens on
your windows. Mosquitoes can travel up, so if you live in a taller condo and
your neighbor has stagnant water on his balcony those mosquitoes can fly up
to your balcony as well. Dengue mosquitoes bite during the day, so wear
repellent. I don’t like DEET myself so carry a bottle of natural repellent
and spray it regularly. Cover up, don’t give them places to bite you.
If you start to feel ill see a doctor. Dengue is characterized by a rash,
high fever and terrible aching bones. Keep hydrated but be aware there is no
cure. If you start to bleed go to a hospital immediately. There are several
kinds of dengue and hemorrhagic dengue fever can be deadly. So, read up, get
informed, act wisely and be aware.