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Get ready to be hit by seasonal flu, dengue now, say doctors

Get ready to be hit by seasonal flu, dengue now, say doctors

Apart from the continued threat of Covid-19, Thais are now being urged to prepare for seasonal influenza and dengue now that the rainy season is approaching.

The National Health Security Office has announced that it will provide free vaccine for people who are covered by the universal healthcare system, members of the Social Security Fund and those under the civil servants’ healthcare scheme, Dr Sakchai Kanjanawatana, secretary-general of the NHSO, said on Tuesday (April 21).

Each group is advised to contact their service hospitals, though the free shots will only be provided to seven high-risk groups, such as those with chronic disease, children aged 6 months to 2 years and senior citizens aged 65 and up.

The eligible should register for the free vaccines immediately so they can boost their immune system before the rainy season arrives next month, he said, warning that the seasonal influenza can also be fatal.

Currently, there is a low rate of seasonal influenza infections due to the dry season combined with people wearing masks, he said.

Another disease that will arrive with the rainy season next month is dengue, warned Dr Anupong Sujariyakul, a senior expert in preventive medicine at the Department of Disease Control. To avoid this, people should get rid of all open water containers that can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes, he said.

He also said that people with Covid-19 can also be infected with dengue, though the chances are slim.

 

The doctor warned that though the number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases is dropping, new infections may increases as more Thais return home from overseas.

People should continue staying home and avoid going to public places, he said in response to a question about a second wave of Covid-19 infections, since more cars were seen on Bangkok streets after the lowest number of confirmed cases were reported in a month – 27 on April 20 and 19 on April 21.

He also advised people to continue practising social distancing and wear masks.

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