Thailand detects 33 new Zika cases

Thailand’s Health Ministry on November 16 announced that 33 new Zika cases have been found and surveillance efforts are being intensified for groups of high vulnerability, especially pregnant women.

Spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai confirmed that the 33 new cases were recorded last week and the disease is now found in two new provinces.

According to Suwannachai, health experts have warned of the possible wide spread of the disease as people from other localities flocked to Bangkok on October 13 to pay tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. 

In September, Thailand was the first country in Southeast Asia reporting two cases of microcephaly – a condition that results in babies being born with small heads from infections with mosquito-borne Zika. It was also one of the countries having the largest Zika cases in the region, with more than 680 infections so far this year.

Zika virus is transmitted to humans primarily through Aedes aegypty mosquito bites and sexual intercourse. 

The symptoms of Zika infection include fever, conjunctivitis, headaches and muscle pains. Zika infection during pregnancy may lead to microcephaly in babies, which is responsible for incomplete brain development and an unusually small head. 

A vaccine for the Zika virus has yet to be discovered.

VNA

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