DDC identifies three diseases as pandemic threats for 2024

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Dr Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn, the department director-general, highlighted that the predictions for 2024 are based on current patient data, mortality rates, and spreading trends and the assessment aims to aid in planning and implementing effective disease-control policies.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has identified three major diseases – COVID-19, influenza, and dengue fever – as potential pandemic threats for the year 2024.

Alongside these, the department is also closely monitoring 12 other seasonal and group-specific diseases.



Dr Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn, the department director-general, highlighted that the predictions for 2024 are based on current patient data, mortality rates, and spreading trends. This assessment aims to aid in planning and implementing effective disease-control policies.

Despite the possibility of COVID-19 mutating, the department expects the virus to have less severe symptoms due to widespread immunity. The DDC is now focusing on monitoring vulnerable groups, identified as “608” – seniors over 60 years, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure. Preventative measures recommended include wearing face masks in public, regular hand washing, and annual vaccinations.



Influenza, another respiratory disease with a lower mortality rate than COVID-19, is expected to see about 346,110 patients this year, a decrease from last year’s 460,325 cases and 29 deaths. The DDC advises annual influenza vaccinations, preferably at the same time as Covid-19 vaccinations.

Dengue fever cases, transmitted by mosquitoes, are predicted to rise to 276,975 from 156,097 patients in the previous year, which saw 187 deaths. Thongchai emphasized the importance of eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites, such as stillwater surfaces, to control the spread of dengue.



In addition to these three diseases, the DDC has also placed 12 other diseases under surveillance for 2024. These include hand-foot-and-mouth disease, measles, mpox, melioidosis, leptospirosis, streptococcus suis infection, zika fever, chikungunya, syphilis, gonorrhea, AIDS, and tuberculosis.

For reporting pandemics or seeking health advice, the DDC has made available a hotline at 1422. (NNT)