A tale of two newspapers: Dengue fever

Thailand has no new dengue fever strain - TNA, May 10, 2005
...However the health minister Dr. Suchai Charoenratanakul dismissed public fears that a new stronger strain of the disease has hit Thailand.
...''We have more people infected than two years ago, but there is no need to be alarmed. It is just a normal cycle of the endemic,'' the Thai health minister told journalists on Tuesday.
...''The Heath Ministry has closely followed the outbreaks, and I insist there is no new strain,'' he said.
Health officials are setting up surveillance teams, dubbed ''Mr. Dengue Fever'', to monitor dengue fever outbreaks, house-to-house across the country.
“Local health officials are on the alert so the public should trust the measures the government has taken against the disease,'' he said...


Also: 'A tale of two newspapers' archives
Dengue fever spreading as virus mutates - The Nation, May 10, 2005
Changes in the genetic makeup of the dengue virus are suspected of being the main reason why the disease is more virulent this year, with at least 10 deaths reported in the past five months.
The Disease Control Depart-ment is waiting for results from tests on virus samples taken from dengue patients to confirm the theory...
After an urgent meeting yesterday the Public Health Ministry issued a nationwide dengue epidemic alert. A so-called war room is being set up to fight the epidemic...
If virus tests currently being conducted showed a significant genetic change in the dengue virus, urgent “maximum measures” would have to be carried out in the epidemic area, at the source of the infection, said Dr Kitti Pramatpol, head of the department’s dengue fever control division.
... “Only small genetic changes to the virus have a significant effect on an epidemic pattern and the virulence of the disease,” Kitti told The Nation...
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