2 more dead from cold snap in northeastern Thailand

The Nation

As chilly weather in the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum claimed two more lives, provincial Governor Chusak Treesarn yesterday dispatched supplies of blankets plus relief bags to 30,000 families in eight districts where the mercury has plummeted.

After temperatures dropped to 6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, a 60-year-old man in Chatturat district and a 59-year-old man in Nong Bua Rawe district were reported to have succumbed to the cold. The eight affected districts are Nong Bua Rawe, Muang, Phu Khieo, Phakdi Chumphol, Thep Sathit, Kaset Sombun, Ban Thaen and Nong Bua Daeng.

In Uttaradit's Muang district, a Ban Nam Khrai School janitor was found to have contracted scrub typhus - a mite-borne infectious disease that thrives in cold, damp conditions.

Volunteers were yesterday aiding efforts to disinfect the area, while a medical team from Fort Phichai Dap Hak Hospital has been sent to the school and nearby community to educate locals about how to protect themselves from the disease and other effects of the cold weather.

The janitor was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit after suffering blood sepsis but was in stable condition last night.

Symptoms of scrub typhus include high fever, a rash and small black bite marks (mostly found on armpits, thighs and the waist). The disease can result in complications such as pneumonitis, encephalitis and myocarditis.