Seven southern provinces are witnessing an increase in malaria cases, with the biggest number of patients reported in Surat Thani and Ranong.

The Disease Control Office in Nakhon Si Thammarat said last year, a total of 2,887 cases of malaria were reported with 1 fatality. This year, 25 people in the southern region have contracted the mosquito-borne disease within the first two weeks of the year.

The office’s statement suggested that in Thailand, malaria infection is common in rural, forested areas near the borders with neighboring countries, such as Myanmar and Cambodia. Humans contract malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite, with symptoms generally developing two weeks after the first contact. Symptoms which include headache, fever, chills and fatigue may appear in cycles and may come and go at different intensities.

Residents in malaria-prone areas are urged to consult a physician immediately if they experience symptoms similar to a malarial infection as the disease can result in kidney failure, jaundice and even death.

The Disease Control Office also advised owners of rubber plantations, where mosquitoes are usually rampant, to take their on-site workers to receive blood tests at hospitals in order to prevent the spread of malaria.

News from NNT