CHIANGRAI – The Public Health Ministry is warning nationwide schools to watch out for and do more against possible dengue fever spread after the new school year opens in a few months.
Advisor to the Minister of Public Health Pasit Sakdanarong said on Thursday it is forecast that between 120,000 and 150,000 people will fall prey to dengue fever, with more than 100 lives likely to succumb to the virus, this year.
The Public Health Ministry also estimated that medical expenses related to dengue treatment will amount to as much as 2 billion baht.
Mr. Pasit said the ministry has already brought the issue to the attention of the Cabinet since March 12, in order to call on all state agencies to help get rid of mosquito-breeding grounds throughout the summer time, when the extermination of the larvae is easy and efficient.
He pointed out that schools across the country may be the most-worrying place as they tend to miss out on attention and action during the summer break, and eventually there may be more mosquitos around when the new school year begins in May.
Therefore, the Advisor to the Health Minister has been calling for cooperation from the Education Ministry to inform all schools to rid themselves of larvae during the months of March and May.
He also asked the Education Ministry to consider adding more lessons on dengue and how to prevent it in order to help students protect them from the deadly virus.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has warned that the number of dengue fever cases is on the rise in the capital, and the spread of the tropical disease is likely to be more serious this year.
The BMA’s health department has issued a statement saying that generally dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, tends to spread during the rainy season, but Bangkok has recently seen rising numbers of dengue infection during other seasons.
According to a report by the Disease Control Department, over 2,000 people have been infected with the disease since the beginning of this year. Last year, a total of 10,081 cases were reported, with 6 fatalities.
The department recommends that local residents eliminating dengue virus’ habitats by emptying water containers or by adding insecticides to the areas.
Members of the public should immediately consult a physician if they experience symptoms including sudden-onset fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a rash. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal, added the BMA.