Thailand closes schools, internet cafes to stop swine flu spread

July 9th, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

The government of Thailand has announced drastic steps in an attempt to stop the spread of pandemic A(H1N1), originally termed swine flu, through the Southeast Asian kingdom.

The Government has ordered the closure of more than 1,000 summer schools for a 15-day period beginning on Monday, affecting tens of thousands of students attending tutorial classes preparation for exams later this year.

The government has also asked the owners of internet cafes and gaming centers where young people play video games to close them over the same period and carry-out disinfecting and cleaning proceedures.

Thailand has recorded more than 2,700 confirmed cases of pandemic A(H1N1 and 14 confirmed deaths - the latest today, a year-11 school student who died in Khon Kaen Hospital in the country’s central-northwestern area of Isaan.

The student had recently visited Bangkok to attend an examination and on his return home developed a high fever.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that up until July 6 there have been 94,512 cases of pandemic (H1N1), originally termed swine flue, with 429 deaths.

There were 4,591 new cases reported in the three days to July 6, with 47 confirmed deaths in the same period.

The latest update is expected to be posted today, with the WHO now updating the number of cases every three days.

By comparison the WHO says ‘seasonal influenza in the USA is currently estimated to be 25–50 million cases per year, leading to 150,000 hospitalizations and 30,000–40,000 deaths.

‘If these figures are extrapolated to the rest of the world, the average global burden of inter-pandemic influenza may be on the order of ~1 billion cases of flu, ~3–5 million cases of severe illness and 300,000–500,000 deaths annually.’

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