Undiagnosed Deaths in Chiang Mai Possibly Due to Insecticide

As written in a March 23, 2011 HealthMap blog entry, there have been seven mysterious deaths since January 2011 linked to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s Downtown Inn. The undiagnosed deaths prompted travel warnings to be issued for the popular tourist destination, and led authorities to investigate many different potential causes (mushroom poisoning, toxic seaweed, and pure coincidence to name a few). New findings released by a New Zealand news investigation team suggests the tourist deaths are connected, and due to a toxic bed bug insecticide. Small traces of the insecticide Chlorpyrifos were found in the hotel rooms where the victims had stayed. While additional test samples have been sent to the US Centers for Disease Control as well as Osaka University in Japan, other pesticides are now being looked at, as health officials work to determine the cause of the deaths.

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