Thailand saw a continuous rise in dengue fever cases in 18 provinces including Chonburi, Phuket, and Bangkok, the Department of Disease Control on Monday, July 24th, reported.
Taret Krassanairawiwong, the Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, held an online meeting with public health officials in 30 districts of 18 provinces to discuss the increase in dengue fever cases.
According to him, dengue fever cases have been increasingly detected in 18 Thai provinces for the last 8 weeks, namely Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao, Tak, Phetchaburi, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Krabi, Phuket, Songkhla, Satun, Narathiwat, and Bangkok.
Moreover, the number of dengue fever cases in the past 4 weeks has exceeded the average number from the previous 5 years during the same period. This indicates that these areas are nearing the criteria to be declared as dengue fever epidemic zones, Taret stated.
To tackle this issue, Taret ordered relevant government agencies to provide academic support and resources to urgently reduce the number of dengue fever cases.
The Department of Disease Control is also collaborating with the Ministry of the Interior to mobilize personnel to fight the spread.
According to the Communicable Diseases Act of 2015 (B.E. 2558), dengue fever has been declared a communicable disease that requires monitoring.
If there is a high and continuous number of dengue fever cases and the need for intensified disease control measures, the Director-General of the Department of Disease Control has the authority to declare the affected areas as epidemic zones.
Within these particular areas, public health officials can enter houses, buildings, places, or vehicles suspected or confirmed to have an epidemic outbreak to conduct surveillance and disease control measures
For example, they may conduct surveys of mosquito breeding sites, eliminate breeding grounds, and spray chemicals to kill mosquitoes in houses, temples, schools, hotels, or other places where access might be limited under normal circumstances, according to the officials.