Survey reveals common summer ailments amid rising heat concerns

Dr. Achara Pawabutr Nitiapinyasakul, Director-General of the Department of Health, discusses the findings of a recent health survey amidst rising concerns over summer ailments and soaring temperatures.

PATTAYA, Thailand – The Thailand Department of Health has unveiled findings from a comprehensive survey shedding light on prevalent health issues faced by individuals during the scorching summer months. Headaches, constipation, and muscle cramps emerge as the most common ailments, with concerns amplifying amidst escalating temperatures across the nation.

Conducted from March 1 to April 4 and involving 682 participants, the survey exposes a concerning trend: 21.9% of respondents frequently grapple with headaches, while 13.6% contend with constipation, and 12.7% endure muscle cramps in their legs and abdomen.

Department of Health Director-General, Dr. Achara Pawabutr Nitiapinyasakul, underscored the significance of the survey, emphasizing widespread apprehension regarding the health impacts of soaring summer temperatures. Notably, 52.8% of participants express moderate concerns, with 19.8% indicating high levels of apprehension about the debilitating effects of heat.

In response to these concerns, proactive measures are being undertaken by the majority of respondents to safeguard their well-being. An overwhelming 93.9% opt for freshly cooked meals to mitigate the risk of diarrhea, while 93.8% diligently adhere to hand hygiene practices, and 87.8% prioritize hydration to combat dehydration.

However, amidst these health precautions, a red-level heat index alert issued by the Meteorological Department for 15 provinces, including Bangkok, raises alarm. This alert signifies exceedingly perilous conditions persisting until April 27, intensifying the urgency for heat-related precautions.

Dr. Achara underscores the gravity of heat-related illnesses, particularly heatstroke, which poses severe health risks. Symptoms such as skin redness, rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, vomiting, and potential unconsciousness or fatality underscore the critical need for swift intervention. Dr. Achara advises immediate measures such as applying ice or cooling cloths to vital areas like the neck and armpits to lower body temperature before seeking medical assistance.