Text page

Health and safety

Health and safety forum


Posted by Canim on 18/3/2008 at 03:08

Been back in Canada for 10 days now after two months in Thailand. Last place we were in was Pattaya. My wife became ill after two days home and was diagnosed with Dengue (classic) yesterday in Emergency.
WEAR DEET!! Believe her, this is not a fun virus.

#1 Canim has been a member since 20/6/2007. Posts: 1

Posted by goo_stewart on 18/3/2008 at 05:46

Good advice, people do not know the dangers of dengue which is a risk in every town and city in Thailand/Cambodia. Cover up and DEET at the 2 things you should do, dengue is spread in the day time hours.

#2 goo_stewart has been a member since 10/10/2007. Posts: 69

Posted by khunwilko on 18/3/2008 at 10:16

As you are now no doubt aware there is no vaccine or treatment for dengue....so prevention is the only course. wear DEET and COVER UP. Many people insist on going round at dusk and Dawn (Dengue time) with next to nothing on....all you have to do is wear light color long-sleeved/legged apparel and you reduce the risk a whole lot.

I have several friends in Pattaya - some tourists, some residents - who have had dengue...it can be just a mild attack or as one guy said the worse than he ever dreamed any illness could be. It can even be fatal.

Just because you are in a town don't think you are "safe" - The Dengue bearing mosquito thrives in URBAN areas - it likes small still puddles to breed e.g. old tires flowerpots etc.

Height of risk is after rain or wet season.

#3 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by Rufus on 25/5/2008 at 18:44

There have been a couple of cases i know of here in Vientiane in the last couple of weeks.

#4 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978

Posted by khunwilko on 25/5/2008 at 21:45

I think it is fair to say that Dengue is endemic in Thailand but especially in urban areas.

#5 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by SBE on 25/5/2008 at 22:08

Agree, it's more an urban disease (unlike malaria). There are many cases in Bangkok every year. This is not to say that you can't catch it elsewhere too of course.

#6 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by khunwilko on 26/5/2008 at 09:10

The problem with assessing the amount of dengue about is that the symptoms can range from mild to very very serious. So mild cases can go unnoticed and therefore undiagnosed and unreported.
Also it seems quite possible that the authorities don't like to over emphasise the extent of dengue in Thailand as it is feared it may affect tourist numbers.

#7 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by Marney_47 on 29/5/2008 at 08:53

In that case then, does anyone know where to buy a good mosquito net in Bangkok before i head off on my trip to Laos and Cambodia???

#8 Marney_47 has been a member since 16/5/2008. Posts: 13

Posted by khunwilko on 29/5/2008 at 10:48

Most big stores.....Robinsons, Big C, Tesco-lotus stock mozzie nets around 250 to 360 baht. Many hotels have them.
You are mainly at risk DAWN and DUSK when out and about....so COVER up!

#9 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by SBE on 23/6/2008 at 14:58

Apparently there is a fairly serious Dengue epidemic in Thailand at the moment...there have been over 14,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of 2008, most diagnosed since the beginning of the rainy season in April. That's a 72% increase compared to last year. Numbers will no doubt rise as the rainy season progresses but the authorities have launched a major public awareness campaign in an attempt to reduce the number of potential mosquito breeding grounds etc.

More info here.

#10 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by nedz on 10/10/2008 at 19:36

january 08 in nth thailand i suffered what i call the bone cracker suite. I was Ok about dying, but it didnt happen. any movement was excurciating very painfull in other words. Luckily the thai laundry girls next door came in as they had not seen me for two days, they rubbed liniment all over me and gave me food i couldnt eat and medicines. I remembered this 2 days later when i could mke it out of my bed.i was so ill, too ill to go to hospital i told them. Highly likely Dengue. Blood tests back home could not determine if it was or not.
Aparently the 2nd time you get it is worse (my god)
the 3rd time can kill you.
Having it once dos not provide any immunity but susceptibility, more prone to it not less
seriously protect yourself from mossies.
internet cafes a really bad for them, sitting ducks we are there.Also there is a malaria ward at the local hospital so dont think it dosnt exist either.
I dont go anywhere without my mossie net.
Thanks Nedzx

#11 nedz has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 26

Posted by khunwilko on 12/10/2008 at 19:52

"Break bone Fever" as it was called........

Very nasty......if you got it that badly, you may have already had it before (a couple of times) and not known..
However, you are probably immune to the one of three dengue viruses, but infect by the others is believed to bring on stronger symptoms.

there IS on cure..or vaccination/immunization at present because of the multiple strains of virus.
Do NOT take aspirin to relieve the fever, as internal bleeding is a symptom and aspirin could make it worse.

#12 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by TheSnowQueen on 23/10/2008 at 16:15

All sound advice which I will be taking! However, can anyone let me know if it's easy/possible to buy genuine Deet insect repellent in Bangkok/Laos/Cambodia? I want to travel light and don't want to bring heaps of bottles of the stuff for my 3.5 months in these countries.
Thanks in advance.

#13 TheSnowQueen has been a member since 16/10/2006. Posts: 25

Posted by khunwilko on 23/10/2008 at 20:37

You can certainly buy "OFF!" in Thailand and it contains DEET, don't know about outside Thailand.

#14 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by Patrickx8 on 16/12/2008 at 10:39


So what do you do in Vietnam and Cambodia? It seems the prevailing advice is to wear Deet or maybe something better made in Australia all day long on any exposed body parts. My local travel doctor's nurse suggests treating all of my clothes before going. Is that over the top or is she being appropriately conservative?

The range of conflicting advice is confusing.

thanks very much


#15 Patrickx8 has been a member since 28/8/2008. Posts: 26

Posted by somtam2000 on 16/12/2008 at 11:02 admin


I'd say that's a pretty conservative approach. My advice would be (in order of importance):

1) Use repellent (DEET if poss)
2) Use a mosquito net at night and burn mozzie coils if the bugs are totally out of control
3) Dress sensibly -- long sleeves and pants -- light cotton clothes are widely available in Asia -- no need to pack a tracksuit! and use repellent on ankles etc
4) Don't sleep naked in a swamp

#16 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,062

Posted by MADMAC on 14/6/2009 at 16:22

"As you are now no doubt aware there is no vaccine or treatment for dengue"

Dengue is "treatable", within limits. If you suspect you have Dengue, get to a hospital post with. It can mean the difference between weathering the storm or sinking.

I understood what you meant by not treatable in that there's no direct pharmeceutical application, but some might read that to mean nothing can be done at all and actually a hospital can keep you alive in most cases (unless you get ther vey late).

#17 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by khunwilko on 14/6/2009 at 20:12


OK I agree -there is no cure or medication - if you self-treat you may well administer something that has negative effects.
an they can monitor your blood, I'm certainly not suggesting that going to hospital is a no-no in most cases and hospitals. BUT - you don't want people to think that because they are in a hospital the disease will go away.

PS - My friend in Pattaya who had it before got it again last month.....

#18 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by MADMAC on 14/6/2009 at 20:59

Well a hospital can treat you for shock, and also ensure that you maintain hydration. In some cases the Platelet level drops significantly and you might need a transfusion. So I think it's clear that going if you suspect you have Dengue, your best bet is a hospital, because that can be the difference between surviving, and not surviving. A good friend of mine contracted it early in the Haiti operation and man was he sick - had a fever of 106 (f) and almost died.

Right now in Malaysia (but in Thailand to my knowledge)some herbal medicines are used with reportedly good results.

#19 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Please login to add your reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a post to the forum. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.