A chikungunya outbreak continues to be reported throughout southern Thailand. According to health officials, at least 1499 cases have been reported in 2019 as of early February, including 424 reported during the last week of January alone. The most affected areas include the provinces of Phuket, Songkla, and Pattani. Further spread of the disease is to be anticipated in the coming days and weeks.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease. Symptoms include high fever, joint and muscle pain, rash, headache, nausea, and fatigue. The virus is rarely fatal but lingering joint pain can last for several weeks, even months, after the initial recovery. No treatment or vaccine for the virus is currently available.
Individuals in Thailand are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, sleeping in a screened-in or air-conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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