Measles and dengue in Thailand

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Thailand’s health ministry has confirmed two ongoing infectious disease outbreaks in the country – measles and dengue. In September 2018, the Thailand Ministry of Public Health’s epidemiology bureau reported 2,149 measles cases, to which officials responded by accelerating the measles vaccination programme. “The measles virus has continued to spread, especially in the areas where fewer children were vaccinated,” said Dr Songkran Maichum.

Dr Maichum said that there have been 341 people infected with measles from 1 Sept to 9 Oct and that the main reasons for the fatalities were that patients had not been brought to a hospital early enough, and not been vaccinated at an early age. Most of the measles cases in Thailand were reported in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Sakhon, Chiang Mai and Amnat Charoen provinces.  

As of 29 October, Thailand confirmed that the ongoing dengue virus outbreak had reached 70,146 cases from 77 provinces, and 126 dengue-related fatalities during 2018. The Thailand Ministry of Public Health said that it has launched various dengue prevention measures, but that it is not including the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine. This decision is based on studies saying that this vaccine should only be administered to individuals who have previously been confirmed to have had a specific type of dengue infection.