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Nothing to admire on reflection about this mosquito or dengue carriers

Phuket D-Day as Dengue Fever Threat Skyrockets

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
PHUKET HEALTH officials are going to war with mosquitoes on Phuket because of a growing threat of dengue fever, prompting the declaration of D-Day on June 22.

The danger of dengue has never been greater, a Public Health spokesperson said, with 70 homes in every 100 now at risk - the highest ratio ever on Phuket.

Based on research from 35 Phuket villages, the risks are great. Normally, the threat applies to only 10 in 100 homes.

From January 1 to June 9, about 400 cases of dengue had been reported on Phuket. This compares with 160 for the whole of 2009.

The build-up to D-Day on June 22 has a start on Thursday, June 17, when village volunteers will meet throughout Thailand to plan their attack.

''There are four types of dengue,'' the Public Health spokeswoman said, ''and Phuket has them all.''

Someone who has had a case of dengue usually becomes immune to two types, but more susceptible to serious illness if infected with one of the other varieties. This is when dengue, one of the most painful of experiences, can also become fatal.

On Phuket, one or two people succumb on average to dengue annually, with no fatalities so far this year.

On June 22, a week from today, Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob will start the D-Day campaign, moving through every Phuket village, with a visit first to the Muslim community at Paklok, in the island's east.

Comments

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Don't forget that chikungunya and malaria are also dangerous mosquito borne diseases.
We need more fumigation done AND who can we contact to do this service ?

Posted by Graham on June 15, 2010 10:07

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I recently spent seven months in a place that was heavily populated with mosquitoes. I did some research and found that they only travel a 30 meter radius during their entire life. I then started lighting mosquito coils at the four outside corners of my house half an hour before sunset every night, then one by each open window since I had no screens. In less than a month, I had no mosquitoes in my house although my neighbors all still did. The 60 pack of coils sells for THB 45 so it would cost the homeowner or the govt only THB 6 per day per household to kill most of the mosquitoes invading people's homes. The same can be done at all restaurants, bars and other open areas. If it is done as a mass coordinated attack, the numbers of mosquitoes can be greatly reduced. The same can be done during the day if there are the daytime species of mosquitoes evident.

Editor: Good thinking. The main aim of the public program, though, is to eradicate places where they breed. Small pools of water need to be emptied.

Posted by Elliot on June 16, 2010 09:58

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Great. As of today, I have been diagnosed with Chikungunya for the second time in two years. Damn mosquitoes and yes the smoke gun fumigators did my area today. If that don't work then its flame thrower time... only kidding.

Posted by Graham on June 16, 2010 16:06

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Think you will find they travel 200 metres not 30, 30 I think is the distance they can detect a warm bodied feast. Working offshore we have to do Mosquito prevention programs

Biggest thing is plant pots and still water took me a few years to persuade my landlord to turn over the plates under the plant pots and that has greatly reduced the Mosquitoes around the house

Posted by Michael on June 16, 2010 18:44

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@Graham - You've got the same virus two years in a row?

Posted by Benjie on June 28, 2010 02:26

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Hi Benjie. My doc tells me you don't build up a resistance to the illness and it can take up to two years to get rid of all the symptoms.
Just my luck, I got bitten by another mosquito also carrying the Chikungunya virus. It not a case of IF anymore, it is a case when will I get Dengue fever.
My house now has sprayers on to get rid of the pesky bitters.Funny how it is only the female mosquito that causes all the problems ?

Posted by Graham on June 28, 2010 10:42

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Hi
Anything apart from the coil that you can buy for your garden to get rid of them? if, whats the name, I WANT IT NOW

Posted by southbound on June 29, 2010 10:00

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Hold your horses before claiming a threat is about to "skyrocket". Sources (rather poor, but...) on other media state 30 deaths from dengue (and cholera, don't know why they couldn't display separate figures; laziness or ineptitude, I suppose) in six months. 30 deaths out of a population of what, 65 million, is a one in 2.166 million chance of dying (around 0.5 deaths per million population). Compare these figures to murders, RTAs, smoking-related diseases and frankly the risk is de minimis i.e. virtually safe.

Thailand is NOT facing a major outbreak. The global average is around 0.9 deaths per millions population. Countries such as Kuwait, Dominican Republic and Belize have far higher rates, while Barbados has around seven deaths per millions population. Check WHO stats. Take precautions re water etc, but the deaths in Thailand need to go way higher before it can be classed as a serious problem. Self-serving health departments (wanting larger budgets) and pharma companies (wanting to sell more medicines) sometimes collude to inflate figures. Best guess is that research into the dengue "skyrocket" was funded by a pharma.

Posted by Tanya Millibank on June 29, 2010 18:09

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@ Tanya; I guess you've never had Chikungunya? I don't wish it on anyone! I've had it for a year now and still have joint pain just come out of no where. There's no cure or vaccine for Chikungunya or Dengue and they have very similar symptoms and are from the same Andes mosquito that also spreads Malaria and Yellow fever. Chickungunya can last for a number of years. I had to have morphine at one point as the pain was so great. Before quoting some facts that are useless, do some research...

Posted by Jim on August 5, 2010 21:36

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While I metaphorically share your pain, please show how the facts presented are useless. And BTW, I'm a registered nurse and did a year's internship at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Posted by Tanya Millibank on August 5, 2010 21:53

Editor Comment:

Tanya, The facts you present downplay the likelihood of death from dengue, which is good news, but ignore the growing amount of pain and suffering caused by dengue and other mosquito-borne complaints. We haven't said it was killing people in vast numbers. Death from dengue is not the problem on Phuket. Yet as Jim notes, you seem to be saying, as a nurse, ''What's a little pain and suffering?'' Is that really what you meant to say?

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Dear Editor, no, not at all and I do empathise with those suffering from it. I feel my earlier comment is being skewed somewhat. My point is the misrepresentation, manipulation, whatever - not by PW - deliberately or not of statistics. Yes, I am a nurse but also with an earlier career in research. I looked at the information presented from a statistician's POV, not Florence Nightingale's, quantitatively, not qualitatively.

Posted by Tanya Millibank on August 5, 2010 23:29

Editor Comment:

Fair enough. Thanks, Tanya

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I greet you all again. Further to me getting Chikungunya, I wrote that it would be a matter of time before I got Dengue Fever.
Well I got it, spent five very agonising days in hospital. Wow the Dengue headaches are many times worse than the Chikungunya ones. You loose weight like a demon, yes I dropped six Kg's in three days. Although I feel better now, I still feel drained of energy and the joint pain is ever present.
Tanya, Dengue can be fatal, so there is no downplaying the seriousness of this mosquito borne disease. It is on the increase and you better take care if you live down south of the island in Rawai, Chalong or Nai Young. The tidal areas are good breeding grounds for the mozzies.
Yes I take every precaution to try not to get bitten, OFF Spray, burning coils, electric killing lamps and fumigators. But when your turn comes, there is nothing you can do but scratch the bite and hope it is not your time to depart this mortal coil.
Take care.

Posted by Graham on August 6, 2010 00:49

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So, the sterile nicest technique is actually pretty old (in fact, that's why we don't have to worry about screwworm flies laying eggs in our skin here in the United States [yay!]), although the lethal gene part of it is new. The old-timey way to do it is just to release a ton of males sterilized with radiation who then compete with wild males for females and reduce the overall population.I think that I would argue that the ecological danger from this release would be low. Since you have to pick a particular species, in this case Aedes aegypti, you would actually be damaging the mosquito population less that the alternative (pesticides). Second, I don't know about the Keys, but in the mainland U.S. we also have the closely related Aedes albopictus, which would be able to move into any area voided by A. aegypti. A. albopictus is generally a lot worse at transmitting dengue than A. aegypti (although it can). So, I'd figure that you could do damage to dengue without hurting the parts of the ecosystem dependent on mosquitoes.

Posted by Jason on March 26, 2012 22:19


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