Thailand Reports First COVID-19 Death Via Local Transmission, Patient Also Had Dengue Fever

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Coronavirus death in Thailand

thai cover
Image credit: Thai Medical News

The first death from COVID-19 has been recorded in Thailand after a 35-year-old man died from the virus on Saturday, 29th February 2020.

Director-general of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, shared that the patient had caught the virus via local transmission, and that “he was at risk because he had exposure to Chinese tourists.”

Man also had dengue fever

The patient was hospitalised since 16th February 2020, and had been transferred to Bamrasnardura Infectious Diseases Institute thereafter. He then died on Saturday from organ failure.

The man, who was a retail worker, also had dengue fever at the same time.

However, the case is also subject to a Public Health Ministry probe after it was found that his symptoms of multi-organ failure seemed to contradict evidence found by specialists, Bangkok Post reports.

Case under investigation to determine direct cause of death

The department chief shared that they are unable to determine if this was solely caused by COVID-19, or from underlying conditions. It was found that the man’s lungs were in severe condition, along with stress on other internal organs.

Dr. Thiravat Hemachudha, head of King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital’s Centre for Emerging Diseases, mentioned that his lungs had been affected by pneumonia. This “shows he caught COVID-19 from the beginning, not dengue fever,”, he wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday. He also shared his concerns on how the patient’s conditions were assessed.

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Strict measures in effect since Sunday

covid 19 disinfecting

Workers disinfect the home of a family who recently tested positive for COVID-19 after a trip to Japan, including an 8-year-old student
Image credit: Bangkok Post

With COVID-19 listed as a dangerous communication disease, precautionary measures against the virus have been tightened. International airports have ramped up screenings, and officials have urged residents to put off travel plans and minimise public activities.

Thailand currently has 42 cases, with 30 patients having since recovered.

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