Bangkok, September 13, 2023 – In a proactive move to curb the spread of tuberculosis (TB), the Department of Disease Control (DDC) is fervently encouraging the general public, especially those vulnerable due to underlying medical conditions, to prioritize TB screenings. This plea follows recent reports of a prominent actor contracting TB, likely attributed to close contact with a friend who tragically succumbed to the disease on September 5.
Thailand, as revealed by DDC Director-General Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong, ranks among the top 30 nations worldwide with the highest incidence of active TB cases. Annually, Thailand grapples with approximately 103,000 new TB cases, a grim statistic that results in approximately 12,000 TB-related fatalities.
Although a quarter of Thailand’s population has developed some degree of resistance to TB, individuals with compromised immune systems remain particularly susceptible to severe symptoms. Dr. Tares strongly advises individuals with chronic health conditions, those residing in densely populated environments, individuals grappling with substance abuse, including drugs and alcohol, migrant workers, and frontline healthcare workers, to seriously consider undergoing regular TB screenings.
TB is an airborne respiratory disease primarily transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and even regular conversation. Notable symptoms include a persistent cough lasting over two weeks, a mild fever, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss. Thankfully, TB is treatable with a prescribed six-month medication regimen. The key to managing the disease effectively lies in early detection, and individuals with family members diagnosed with TB are strongly urged to seek immediate medical attention to curtail further transmission.
For those seeking more information and assistance, the DDC has set up dedicated resources. They can be reached via the 1442 hotline or the tuberculosis division at 02-211-2224.