Elephantiasis case in Tak

Elephantiasis case in Tak

Tak: Mae Sot General Hospital on Sunday confirmed at least one new case of elephantiasis in the province, six months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) lauded Thailand for eradicating the tropical disease.

Thawatchai Setthasupphana, director of the state-run hospital in Mae Sot district, said this latest case was found in a Myanmar migrant worker, a 39-year-old man named Aye. He was reportedly working at a farm in Tak's Phop Phra district and living nearby, with his mother, wife and 12-year-old son.

Although Mr Aye had elephantiasis after he checked into the hospital on Sept 10, his family members had not contracted the disease, sources said.

Dr Thawatchai said the hospital has already vaccinated around 100 hospital staff, and the patient's relatives, as a safety precaution to prevent the disease from spreading and as a safety precaution.

According to him, Maesot Hospital has also sent medical professionals to Phop Phra to check for any more cases of the disease.

"Groups of Myanmar migrant workers and refugees residing along the Myanmar-Thai border are currently the most prone to contract elephantiasis," Dr Thawatchai said.

The hospital chief added that several forest areas along the border are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the main carrier of filarial worms, the parasitic worm which causes the disease.

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