Medical personnel urged to keep updated on new diseases

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BANGKOK, 10 January 2013 The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has urged the officials at the Public Health Ministry to keep themselves updated on new diseases in order to give proper information to the public.

DDC Director-General Pornthep Siriwanarangsan told medical personnel that the fast-changing world, the climate change, and people’s behaviors have contributed to the emergence of new diseases, especially contagious ones.

A strategic plan to protect people from and prevent new infectious diseases for 2013-2016 has been adopted. Officials have urged to pay attention to and analyze ongoing changes in the world, not simply trying to find new cases of diseases. All personnel must be able to clarify to the public on new diseases, and inform them of practices they should follow to avoid being infected.

Although Thailand has the best technology for disease detection and prevention in the region, it cannot give 100% protection to its citizens, Dr Pornthep stated.

The department has divided new diseases found in Thailand into three different categories: (1) re-emerging diseases such as influenza, bird flu, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and chikungunya, a mosquito-borne viral disease (2) diseases from overseas such as yellow fever, novel coronavirus, a new virus causing acute respiratory illness, and (3) emerging diseases, which include new diseases caused by mutations and drug resistance.