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Health Officials in Thailand Monitoring Disease Outbreaks

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BANGKOK -Thailand’s health authorities have been putting in place plans to cope with outbreaks of diseases that can affect humans, animals and wildlife in Thailand.

The Deputy Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant (DNP) has confirmed that Thailand is already monitoring the risk of rabies and the current outbreak of African swine fever in some areas.

Executives and officials from related agencies have attended a meeting to discuss broad cooperation on the health of people, animals and wildlife to develop an epidemic surveillance system and be ready to cope with any outbreak.

DNP Deputy-Director General Jongkhlai Woraphongsathorn said the meeting was aimed at establishing collaboration to prevent and monitor outbreaks.

The relevant agencies have been following up on the rabies situation even though there are no current cases.

He has ordered the relevant authorities to monitor and report on the situation on a periodic basis. This year, the government is to distribute vaccines to the public.

Thai health authorities are now on alert to the spread of African swine fever which has recently occured in countries such as Laos, Vietnam and China.

He has also instructed the authorities to patrol national parks and wildlife sanctuaries especially in border areas where it is necessary to randomly check wild boars and pigs as another way to prevent outbreaks of disease.

Although swine fever is not contagious between animals and humans, it is considered a disease that can badly affect the economy and the pig farming industry.

People are strongly advised to avoid eating raw pork for their own safety.

By Supawadee Wangsri

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