11 July 2024

The health office in Thepha District of the southern province of Songkhla launched a campaign today (Tuesday) to raise awareness of the threat posed by melioidosis (Whitmore’s disease) and how to prevent infection.

Melioidosis is a disease that can infect humans or animals. It is caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, or B. pseudomallei, which is found in contaminated soil and water.

According to the Thepha District health office, seven infections have been recorded since April this year and five people have died. All the infections were found in six sub-districts.

Health officials have collected soil and water samples from the six sub-districts for analysis, to find out whether the soil and water is contaminated.

The bacteria has been found in soil and water resources throughout the country, but mostly in the north-eastern region. It enters the body through the skin, not necessarily through wounds, if a person is exposed to contaminated soil or water for a long time.

Farmers, who have to work on land or wade through muddy water, are advised to wear boots and gloves and to clean up immediately after finishing their work.