Zika virus cases rise in Northeast Thailand

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Nakhon Ratchasima-based Region 9 Disease Control Office Director Dr Taweechai Wisanuyothin said Zika is transmitted by mosquitoes, similar to dengue fever and chikungunya.

Public health authorities in Nakhon Ratchasima province are on alert for a potential Zika virus outbreak after 19 cases were reported in the lower Northeast region. The cases detected between January 1 and 3 included 14 in Surin and five in Nakhon Ratchasima, with most patients being under 14 years of age.

Across Thailand, the Zika virus has affected at least 758 individuals in 36 provinces, with Chanthaburi, Phetchabun, and Trat experiencing the highest number of infections. Nakhon Ratchasima-based Region 9 Disease Control Office Director Dr Taweechai Wisanuyothin said Zika is transmitted by mosquitoes, similar to dengue fever and chikungunya.



Symptoms of the Zika virus include rashes, fever, headaches, and joint and muscle pains. The public, especially pregnant women or those planning pregnancy, are advised to seek medical attention if they exhibit these symptoms due to the risk of birth defects or developmental delays in infants.

Dr Taweechai underscored the importance of obstetricians monitoring pregnant women infected with Zika. He urged the public to maintain cleanliness in their homes and neighborhoods to prevent mosquito breeding. Since mosquitoes breed in clean, stagnant water, covering water containers near homes is crucial. The use of insect repellents is also recommended to reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites. (NNT)