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Authorities battle dengue fever outbreak on Koh Samui

July 7, 2014 Destination Thailand, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Health authorities on the Thai resort island of Koh Samui are combatting an outbreak of dengue fever, the mosquito-borne tropical disease.

Samui Hospital on Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island after Phuket, treated 33 dengue patients in the last two weeks of June, Thailand’s Daily News online reports.

The only state-run hospital on the island reported only 29 cases from the start of the year up to 14 June 2014. The rest have occurred since, bringing the total to 62.Lipa Noi Beach on Ko Samui, Thailand, shortly after sunset

Symptoms of dengue fever, sometimes called breakbone fever, include headache, muscle and joint pains, a characteristic skin rash similar to measles, and a high temperature – the fever itself. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue haemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage; or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

An official told the Bangkok Post the hospital had treated four or five patients for dengue fever every day since mid-June. Most patients were children and teenagers.

No foreign visitors have been reported among the victims, though the island is a major magnet for tourists.

The fever has killed five people this year, according to Thailand’s Public Health Ministry, but none in Koh Samui.

The recent outbreak is attributed to weather conditions. As rains hit the island the wet creates a suitable environment for mosquitoes to breed and spread.

Written by Peter Needham

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