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Zika Virus Infection in Thailand

04 Feb 2016

The media has reported on a locally acquired case of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in Thailand. The case is a 22-year-old male, Thai national who gives no history of recent travel. The man has recovered and been discharged from hospital care where ZIKV virus was laboratory-confirmed.

An official from the Disease Control Department of the Public Health Ministry, reported that ZIKV was first identified in Thailand in 2012, and no more that 5 cases are reported annually.

Advice for Travellers

Avoidance of mosquito bites, particularly during daylight hours, is recommended for all travellers. Due to the possible link between Zika virus infection and birth defects, pregnant women, or those planning pregnancy are strongly urged to seek pre-travel advice from their health care provider. They should be helped to understand the risks and to make an informed decision on whether to change their travel plans. If the decision is made to travel, strict measures to avoid mosquito bites both during daytime and nightime hours should be followed.

Bite avoidance measures include: covering up with clothing, the use of insect repellent and bed nets impregnated with insecticide. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites around hotel rooms/homes is advised for longer term stays.