Influenza Outbreak in Chiang Mai Press Conference

August 21

The Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University organized a press conference at Kantary Hills to inform local media about the influenza outbreak in Chiang Mai and the whole of Thailand.

According to the Surveillance Report by the Bureau of Epidemiology, Ministry of Public Health, from 1 January 2019 until 6 August 2019, there are a total of 13.460 recorded cases of influenza in Chiang Mai, resulting in 2 deaths. This statistic is quite alarming considering the number of diagnosed patients in the first 7 months has already exceeded the number of patients from the whole year of 2018, where there were no deaths reported. The report stated there are 217,161 influenza cases and 16 deaths in Thailand. Despite this ongoing threat, the general public tends to underestimate influenza as symptoms are synonymous with a server cold. However, influenza is a disease that relates to the respiratory tract, which can be transmitted and in turn increases the risk of complications, which could lead to fatality.

Pro, Dr. Peninnah Oberdorfer, MD. PhD., Head of Pediatric Infectious Disease Division, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University said ‚ÄúDuring early onset of symptoms (fast breathing, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, chest pain or vomiting) it is crucial to seek professional medical help within 48 hours after flu symptoms appear, in order to receive the appropriate guidance and treatment in terms of prescription antivirals. Antivirals will prevent the influenza spreading in the immune system, as well as reducing the risk of transmission. So the faster you cure influenza, the better it is for yourself and the people around you”. Antivirals can only be prescribed by doctors; not by pharmacists.

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