Thailand issues health warning -- for black leggings

Posted at 08/09/10 10:04 PM

BANGKOK, Thailand - The Thai government has warned that a South Korean-inspired fashion craze for black leggings could be putting teenagers at risk of catching potentially deadly dengue fever.

"I'm worried about how people dress, especially teenagers," said Deputy Public Health Minister Phansiri Kulanartsiri, noting that the mosquitoes which transmit the disease are attracted by dark colours.

"The mosquitoes can bite through the leggings' thin fabric, so those who wear them are at greater risk of being infected with dengue."

"It's better to wear light colours and wear pants that can protect against mosquitoes, such as jeans," she said in a statement released Sunday.

Thailand has seen a spike in dengue cases, with 43 deaths and more than 45,000 infections in the first seven months of this year, according to the government. Many of the victims were young people.