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Celebrity Scare Unfolds: Thailand’s Deadly Tuberculosis Risk Exposed – Are You in Danger?

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With the recent revelation of actor Chawin “Jug” Chitsomboon’s bout with tuberculosis, presumed to have been contracted through close interactions with a friend who succumbed to it in September, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) wishes to emphasize the importance of tuberculosis screening. It’s especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions that could exacerbate tuberculosis. Taking action is an attempt to reduce its spread among the populace.

The DDC’s Director-General, Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong, cautions the public to remain vigilant. He points out that Thailand is counted among the top 30 nations experiencing the highest active tuberculosis incidence, as per the World Health Organization’s records. Thailand sees a staggering estimate of 103,000 fresh tuberculosis cases each year. Each year, about 12,000 individuals perish due to tuberculosis-related diseases according to the statistics referenced by Dr. Tares.

Interestingly, around a quarter of Thailand’s population has managed to build some resistance to tuberculosis. However, those with compromised immune systems are still extremely susceptible to developing severe symptoms. Therefore, Dr. Tares urges individuals wrestling with chronic health issues like diabetes, HIV/Aids, and high-risk individuals like prisoners or those inhabiting overcrowded spaces, substance addicts, alcoholics, migrant workers, and medical staff on the front lines to consider regular tuberculosis screening.

Dr. Niti Haetanurak, serving as a Deputy Director-General for DDC, reported that Chawin’s management received contact from their department to arrange treatment for his close acquaintances, relatives, and others that engaged in close contact with him.

Tuberculosis, a respiratory ailment, can spread through the air, coughing, sneezing, and speaking. Typical symptoms include a persistent cough lasting over a fortnight, a slight fever, loss of appetite, and weight loss. “While the disease is treatable, patients are advised to maintain their treatment regimen for six months consistently,” expressed Dr. Phalin Kamolwat, the director of the department’s tuberculosis division. Dr. Phalin also emphasized the importance of detecting the disease during the early stages, and further advised those who have family members suffering from tuberculosis to seek immediate medical attention to prevent transmission.

For additional information, the public is encouraged to reach out to the DDC’s 1442 hotline, or the department’s tuberculosis division at 02 211 2224.

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