What we have learned about Lai Tai in Thailand?

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Gumpanart Veerakul, MD
Lertlak Chaothawee, MD
Kriengkrai Jirasirirojanakorn, MD
Koonlawee Nademanee, MD


It was for more than a century that the mysterious sudden death, so-called “Lai Tai”, had been prevalent among villagers in Northeastern (NE) Thailand. Most victims were otherwise healthy young men who died unexpectedly during sleep. Moaning and gurgling sounds had been heard before they became unre- sponsive and expired. In some families, similar deaths had been occurred to male siblings, for over four generations, which was suggestive of genetic preponderance. It was still a local myth that these unexplained deaths were caused by a widow ghost came to take the mens’ soul at night. Several years ago, Lai Tai received media attention after a cluster of deaths of Thai workers in Singapore. Despite extensive autopsies by local authorities, the cause of death remained unidentified. So far, Lai Tai had affected our nation in many ways, from the smallest unit where wives and children had lost their husbands, fathers and the heads of family, up to the national level, that lost the significant incomes from the death of workers.


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How to Cite
Veerakul G, Chaothawee L, Jirasirirojanakorn K, Nademanee K. What we have learned about Lai Tai in Thailand?. BKK Med J [Internet]. 2011 Feb. 18 [cited 2022 Aug. 16];1(1):59. Available from: https://he02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/bkkmedj/article/view/217663
Reviews Article


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