The Disease Control Department (DCD) warned people to protect themselves against mosquito bites, saying dengue fever has become a serious problem with over 8,000 infected and 13 patients killed, so far.
Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn, DCD director-general, said as many as 8,197 people had been diagnosed with dengue in January, marking a 91.25% increase from January last year, when 4,286 people were infected.
He added that 13 patients have died from dengue fever this year.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection common in tropical and subtropical climates. It is caused by dengue virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes (mainly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus)
Common symptoms are high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, skin rash and swollen glands.
Thongchai said most of the patients this year were children aged five to 14 years old, and most cases were diagnosed in southern and central provinces.
Patients who succumbed to the fever were in 11 provinces and the eldest was 65 years old. Thongchai said all hospitals treating dengue fever patients should hand out anti-mosquito cream or spray to other patients to protect them from the virus.
He added that people around dengue patients should also take steps to protect themselves and see the doctor immediately if they develop a temperature.