Deadly disease: Thailand vacationers must protect themselves from malaria
Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of Germans also fly to the tropical paradise every year. Especially in winter and here in particular at Christmas time, a lot goes out to enjoy the warmth on the beach. However, all vacationers should protect themselves from health risks. Dangerous tropical diseases such as malaria are common in the Asian state.
Dangerous diseases in a tropical paradise
White beaches, ancient temples, wonderful food: millions of tourists travel to Thailand every year. Unfortunately, there are also some health risks in the Southeast Asian country. Around the beginning of the year, the spread of the tropical disease melioidosis, which can be fatal, had been reported. The Mers virus has also been detected in Thailand. But holidaymakers are most worried about malaria, especially because resistant pathogens are common in Southeast Asia.
Malaria risk in Thailand
At the start of the peak travel season in Southeast Asia, the authorities in Thailand are warning tourists of the risk of malaria. The infectious disease is transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes.
Vichan Pawan, spokesman for the Thai health authority, said according to a message from the dpa news agency: "The Anopheles mosquito occurs mainly in the forests of the Kanchanaburi province on the border with Myanmar." However, there is also a risk of infection in other regions, including Chiangrai in the north and Pattani in the south.
According to the information, almost 17,000 people in Thailand contracted malaria in 2016, including around 5,000 tourists. Two people died of it.
As is reported, the situation has improved significantly overall in recent years, among other things through the use of insect repellants around residential areas and hotels and through better education of the population and visitors.
Accordingly, the number of infections per year has dropped significantly. There are 300 malaria hospitals across the country.
Protection against mosquito bites
A malaria vaccine is not available. Vacationers should protect themselves with long-sleeved clothing and insect repellents. Depending on the accommodation, a mosquito net can also be useful. It should be noted that the Anopheles mosquito bites almost without exception at dawn or after sunset. (ad)