On Tuesday, January 21, the French government issued a dengue fever travel warning for visitors to Thailand due to an increased number of cases recorded since September 2019. The risk of infection is significantly higher in the northeast of the country, particularly in Chiang Rai and Ubon Ratchathani provinces.
Thailand reported a significant uptick in dengue fever infection in 2019, declaring an epidemic in July. Officials reported 125,000 cases of dengue fever in 2019 with 131 associated deaths, up from 2018 levels of 50,000 recorded cases and 115 associated deaths.
The risk of contracting the disease may be exacerbated by predicted thundershowers and light rain over the coming week.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease found mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rash. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Individuals present in Thailand are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a screened-in or air-conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds on their properties (e.g. small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).