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Thailand warns tourists over malaria

dpa logodpa 8/12/2016 Hathai Techakitteranun

Tourists visiting Thailand over the holiday season have been warned to take precautions against malaria.

Thailand's disease control department has issued a malaria warning to those planning to take trips or camp out in the country's forests during the current peak tourist season.

"Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are commonly found in forests bordering Myanmar, particularly in Kanchanaburi province", Dr Vichan Pawan, the department's spokesman, told DPA.

Besides Kanchanaburi province, other provinces popular among tourists where malaria-carrying mosquitoes can be found include Tak, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Ubonratchathani, Maehongson, Sisaket, Chiangrai and Pattani.

According to the department's statement, a total of 16,651 people were found to have contracted malaria in Thailand since the beginning of 2016, 11,600 of whom were Thai nationals and the remaining 5,051 were foreigners.

Two people died from malaria in Thailand last year compared to four in 2015, Vichan said.

"The malaria situation in Thailand is getting better each year," Vichan said, adding that the number of annual infections has dropped by tens of thousands in recent years.

"There are also approximately 300 local clinics specialising in malaria across Thailand so [locals and tourists] can get initial treatments before [making hospital visits]," Vichan added.

Travellers planning on visiting Thailand are advised to visit their GP a few weeks before departure in order to discuss relevant precautions.

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