Thailand Discovers K-Pop Link To Dengue Fever

Take one long lingering last look at the photograph above fellas, because legs like these may not be around in Thailand in the near future. The girls on show aren’t actually Thais, they are a Korean all girl pop band, or K-Pop (Korean Pop) group. A report on MBC’s ‘News Today’ back in October, reported that Korean cult music girl bands may be behind the reasons for a dramatic rise in dengue fever cases in Thailand.

Thailand’s Ministry of Health and Welfare’s deputy director is reported to have quoted in an interview with MBC the following reason for the possible rise in the tropical disease in Thailand.

The youth have been copying Korean styles and wearing shorter clothing, making them more susceptible to mosquito bites. We are suggesting that they wear longer clothing in place of shorts.”

I’m not totally sure how much truth is in that story, but I do know that earlier this year Thailand’s health ministry did warn young women not to wear fashionable black leggings because dark clothing attracts mosquitoes.

Dengue fever cases had more than doubled in Thailand this year compared to 2009, with over 85,000 reported cases including 100 deaths being recorded in the first nine months of 2010.

A type of mosquito called Aedes mosquitoes (photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim) transmit the virus to humans through bites. Thailand’s rainy season, mainly from June to October, is the high risk period when stagnant water makes ideal breeding conditions for the Aedes mosquitoes. Global warming now carries the added threat of higher temperatures and lengthier rainy seasons stretching the problem to all year round. South-East Asia, India, South and Central America, the Caribbean and Africa are the most common areas of the world where the Aedes mosquito exists.

Dengue Fever Symptoms

  • High fever lasting between two and seven days.
  • A red pimply rash normally appears on the chest, back and lower limbs.
  • Severe flu-like aches and pains. Severe muscle and joint pains which is why dengue fever is often called breakbone fever.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Pain behind the eyes.

Keeping the Bites At Bay

  • Wear mosquito repellent.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and keep your arms and legs covered especially during the evening period.
  • Use plug-in repellents in hotel rooms etc.
  • Avoid areas that are high risk, stagnant waters etc.
  • When relaxing outside try to keep cool by having an electric fan nearby as mosquitoes are attracted to body heat.
  • Use air con when available and if not sleep under a mosquito net (a must in rural areas).


At the first signs of dengue fever symptoms report to a doctor or medical facility. There are no anti viral treatments for dengue fever, paracetamol and oral rehydration therapy (salt solutions and fluids) are the most common treatments used. Aspirin and Ibuprofen should be avoided because some forms of the viral illness can develop into dengue haemorrhagic fever (bleeding under the skin) and the two drugs can cause internal bleeding too.

Whilst in Thailand during high risk months, and also during the cooler season when temperatures can still climb high, remember to use mosquito repellents, wear sensible clothing at night, and in the daytime if you cannot avoid areas of stagnant water and dense vegetation, make sure you’re protected with suitable clothing, anti mosquito sprays and cream because dengue fever in Thailand is becoming more and more rife. [dublin-core-metadata]

Photo K-Pop Band by pocketofsky


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

9 Responses

  1. You can’t fault the logic here 🙂 I’ve always suspected that those Korean pop groups were an evil force in the world, but now I know for certain.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Paul thanks for dropping by once again. I got quite a surprise when I dropped in at Thailand Musings and saw your guest post, very well written I must say.

    Those K-Pop girls might turn out evil in a few more years but for now they look sweet and innocent.

  3. Talen says:

    Ah to be a mosquito… I highly doubt that k-pop or any other band has done much to encourage an already short short wearing Thai population but dengue fever has been on the rise in the north for some time.

    I had a friend get dengue fever and he was hating life for a month or so.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Talen the joys of being a mosquito, they must have bulging eyes and very deep breathing hanging around legs like those.

    My plan in Udon Thani and Loei this Christmas is to smack on the repellent and keep covered up in the evenings.

  5. Mike says:

    Martyn, sensible advice which is not always easy to follow. I don’t use repellents but do wear long trousers in the evening-not a great example I know.

    Not sure if you read Jungle Girls post a few months back when she actually caught Dengue. Sobering stuff.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Mike I’m not the most sensible of people myself when it comes to advice like this but having recently laid down some laminate flooring I ache all over already. I don’t want dengue fever on top. I’ll be heeding the advice as much as a beer head will let me.

    I did read Jungle Jill’s post. I’m planning on the opposite of sobering stuff whilst in Thailand.

  7. Oneditorial says:

    I could not help giggling reading the comment of the deputy director. I am sure there must be some truth in what he or she said. I must inform my sister to wear longer clothing immediately!

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Oneditorial – I couldn’t help giggling when I read the title of your last blog post at the bottom of your comment. I think I’ll head over and check it out.

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