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MAIL OPINION  By Shana Kongmun


Dengue fever outbreak

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.

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Dengue fever outbreak