BANGKOK – Thailand’s disease control department Thursday issued a warning for malaria for those planning to take trips or camp out in the country’s forests during the current peak tourist season.
“Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are commonly found in forests bordering Myanmar, particularly in Kanchanaburi province”, Dr Vichan Pawan, the department’s spokesman, told dpa.
Besides Kanchanaburi province, other provinces popular among tourists where malaria-carrying mosquitoes can be found include Tak, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Ubon Ratchathani, Mae Hong Son, Si Sa Ket, Chiang Rai and Pattani.
According to the department’s statement, a total of 16,651 people were found to have contracted malaria in Thailand since the beginning of 2016, 11,600 of whom were Thai nationals and the remaining 5,051 foreigners.
Two people died from malaria in Thailand last year, compared to four in 2015, Vichan said.
“The malaria situation in Thailand is getting better each year,” Vichan said, adding that the number of annual infections has dropped by tens of thousands in recent years.
“There are also approximately 300 local clinics specialising in malaria across Thailand so (locals and tourists) can get initial treatments before (making hospital visits),” Vichan added.