Health Misistry confident of containing spread of Zika virus

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BANGKOK, 23 June 2016 – The Ministry of Public Health is confident that it will be able to contain the spread of the Zika virus.

The statement was made by Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn after an 11-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl were found to have contracted the Zika virus in Chiang Mai province. The two children had earlier visited Phetchabun province, where Zika virus infections have been diagnosed.

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Dr. Piyasakol said his ministry has already set up crisis centers to combat the Zika virus, while adding that the Department of Disease Control (DDC) has been instructed to monitor the situation in both provinces. The minister stressed that this discovery is not considered a full-fledged outbreak.

However, a recent public health report has indicated cases of Zika infections in nine provinces of Thailand, including Nonthaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai and Bangkok.

The DDC has reminded the public that the virus itself only results in minor flu-like symptoms and usually clears up in 2-7 days. However, the department warned that pregnant women exposed to the illness are at risk of giving birth to children with microcephaly, or an abnormally small head.