With places like Bangkok and Khao Yai National Park, Thailand has become a very popular tourist country. In 2016 alone, the country with a population of more than 68 million people hosted close to 33 million visitors. Alongside its many attractions are some issues, including that diseases in Thailand are a persistent problem. Here are three common diseases in Thailand:
Dengue is a viral disease that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit. Once someone is infected, they become a carrier. There are four strains of the virus. Dengue mostly impacts people in tropical climates. Symptoms include high fever and pain in joints, in muscles and behind the eyes.There is currently no cure. It is recommended to seek professional medical care when experiencing symptoms.According to the World Health Organization, “the America, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions are the most seriously affected” by dengue. The WHO reports 50 to 100 million dengue cases annually. There is now a vaccination for the disease.
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection that weakens the immune system by destroying helper T cells. According to UNAIDS estimates, 440,000 Thai people were living with HIV in 2015.While there is no cure for HIV, there is a treatment known as antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART helps those infected and can even prevent the development of AIDS, which is the last stage of the infection. With the approval of the National AIDS Committee, Thailand is following a plan aimed at eliminating HIV/AIDS in the country by 2030.
- Zika Virus
As with dengue, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread the Zika virus. It can also be sexually transmitted. According to Reuters, Thailand had around 200 Zika cases from January to September 2016, from January to September. Zika virus is known to cause deformations in newborn babies. For this reason, it is suggested that pregnant women stay away from places where it is prevalent, including Thailand.The people of Thailand are doing what they can to fight Zika virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention trained laboratory workers on how to detect it. There are also surveillance systems that monitor diseases in Thailand, including the Zika virus. There is currently no cure for the Zika virus, but there are tests on a vaccine underway.
These are all presently common diseases in Thailand, but there is significant research being conducted to reduce and eliminate their impact. For now, doctors will continue to assist those affected until their cures are found.
– Raven A. Rentas