Chiang Mai deaths still a mystery
- Published: 25/05/2011 at 10:57 AM
- Online news:
The Dept of Disease Control says its team of toxicology experts have not yet been able to determine the cause of the mysterious deaths in Chiang Mai.
The Downtown Inn in Chiang Mai housed four of the victims who died in mysterious circumstances earlier this year.
Struggle to determine a common link
There is not enough evidence to support examining the insecticide chlorpyrifos as the cause of a New Zealand woman's death at a hotel in Chiang Mai, according to a team of Thai and international toxicology experts.
The chemical had been mentioned on a New Zealand TV programme as a probable cause in tourist Sarah Carter's death and the illness of her two travelling companions.
The toxicology team found no common link in the deaths of the woman, five other foreigners and a Thai in Chiang Mai between January and February.
The Department of Disease Control said in a statement yesterday that it had been working with international toxicology experts this month to determine the causes of the deaths. The toxicologists are from Australia, India, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States, the World Health Organisation, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The experts pointed out chlorpyrifos emits a strong odour which was not noted by the two surviving women. They also said that chlorpyrifos is neither easily absorbed by the skin nor does it cause rapid illness or death in a healthy adult unless it is ingested or inhaled in very high quantities. "Furthermore, the details of the clinical and laboratory investigation do not support chlorpyrifos as a cause," the team said in a prepared statement.
The investigation has found few things in common in the cases except that all occurred in Chiang Mai between Jan11 and Feb 19, six of the nine people affected lodged at one hotel, the Downtown Inn, (three were at two different hotels), and the first six victims were young (aged 23-29) foreign women.
The people who died and fell ill are being examined in three groups based on the hotels they stayed in, as follows:
* One American woman, 33, who died on Jan11 and her Canadian colleague, 29, who fell ill.
* A French woman, 25, who died on Jan19.
* A Thai woman, 47, who died on Feb 3, the New Zealand woman, 23, who died on Feb6, and her two companions, both aged 23, who fell ill, and a couple from the UK - a man, 78, and his wife, 74, who died on Feb19. All of the victims stayed in the Downtown Inn.
Experts are currently trying to identify the most suitable laboratories to carry out tests for selected pest control ingredients in the remaining samples taken from the rooms and the victims.
You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/kDfdNN . For a story posted earlier this month, click here: http://bit.ly/jYXgMi
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as an illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
mysterious – not explained or understood; full of secrets น่าพิศวง, น่าประหลาด
circumstances – facts or conditions that affect a situation เหตุการณ์แวดล้อม
struggle – to try hard to do something that you find very difficult พยายาม
determine – to discover something by examining evidence to or calculate something กำหนด, ระบุ, แสดงผล
common link – a connection of some type between all members of a group การเชื่อมโยงกัน
evidence – the facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true หลักฐาน
insecticide – a chemical used for killing insects ยาฆ่าแมลง, ยากำจัดแมลง
toxicology – the scientific study of poisons พิษวิทยา
mention – to say something during a conversation, but not discuss it much or give many details; to refer to something in a written document without giving many details พูดถึง, กล่าวถึง, อ้างถึง, เอ่ยถึง
companion – a person (or an animal) that travels who you or spends a lot of time with you เพื่อน, เพื่อนเดินทาง
statement – something that you say or write that gives information or an opinion แถลงการณ์, คำแถลง
emit – to send something out into the air ปล่อยออกมา, แพร่กระจาย
odour – a smell, often one that is unpleasant กลิ่น
note – to notice or pay careful attention to something สังเกต
survive – to continue to live มีชีวิตรอด
absorb – to take in a liquid, gas or other substance form the surface or space around ซึมซับ ดูดกลืน
rapid – happening quickly อย่างรวดเร็ว
adult – a fully grown person who is legally responsible for their actions ผู้ใหญ่
ingest – to take food, drugs, etc. into your body, usually by swallowing การกิน, การกลืนกิน
inhale – to breathe in สูดลมหายใจ
quantity – a particular amount of something ปริมาณ, จำนวน
furthermore – in addition; more importantly นอกจากนี้, ยิ่งกว่านี้, มากไปกว่านี้
clinical – relating to the examination and treatment of patients and their illnesses เกี่ยวกับคลินิก, เกี่ยวกับเวชศาสตร์คลินิก
laboratory – a room or building used for scientific research, experiments, testing, etc ห้องปฏิบัติการ, ห้องทดลอง
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something การสอบสวน
occur – to happen เกิดขึ้น
lodge – to pay to live in a room พักอาศัย
colleague – someone who works in the same organisation or department as you do เพื่อนร่วมงาน
currently – at this time; now ในปัจจุบัน
identify – to recognise something and understand what it is ชี้ ระบตัวุ
suitable – acceptable or right for someone or something เหมาะสม
pests – an insect or small animal which is harmful and annoying สัตว์ที่ทำลาย, สัตว์ที่รบกวน
ingredients – the substances that are combined to make something ส่วนผสม
sample – a small amount of a substance that is used for scientific or medical tests ตัวอย่างทดลอง
About the author
- Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager