Skin disease causes school closures in Mae Sai

Jan 31, 2008 (DVB), A skin disease affecting children in the Thai border town of Mae Sai, across from Tachilek in Burma, has caused 15 schools to close temporarily, parents said.

Children who contracted the disease developed high fever and a skin rash on their faces and limbs.

One Burmese migrant worker whose child was affected said that the Thai authorities had taken steps to contain the disease.

"My baby is suffering from a very high body temperature that never goes down, and he has rashes on his arm and around his mouth," she said.

"All the schools have been closed down and government officials have sterilised the buildings, but they are still closed at the moment."

There are around 1000 Burmese migrants' children enrolled in the 15 nursery and primary schools in Mae Sai.

Another parent said the preventive measures meant that the children would now have to eat their meals at home.

"The schools in Mae Sai usually provide meals and water for the pupils, but now parents have been advised to prepare their own food for their children, as all the equipment in the school is being sterilised," she said.

A doctor from Mae Sai hospital said the action taken by the Thai authorities seemed to have contained the disease.

"It is true that there has been an outbreak of this skin disease in Mae Sai, but we have taken all the necessary measures and prevented it from spreading any further. There is no need to worry now," the doctor said.

Reporting by Htet Yazar

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