December 28, 2023
BANGKOK – With an outbreak of the potentially fatal Zika virus now Bangkok, residents were on Wednesday warned by a leading virologist to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
Yong Poovorawan, head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, posted on his Facebook wall that many cases of the mosquito-borne infection of Zika virus have been detected in Bangkok and even in temples.
The doctor did not give the exact figures of Zika cases in the capital but he did write that the infection could be fatal for some people. It can also cause birth defects.
Yong noted that infected pregnant women could give birth to a child with a brain defect or a smaller that usual head.
He posted that the Zika virus’ symptoms were similar to those of Dengue but the condition would be less severe.
He noted that Zika virus is spread by mosquitos, similarly to the Dengue virus, and encouragd people to protect themselves by wearing light-coloured long-sleeve shirts and applying an anti-mosquito spray to protect their skin.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection that first gained widespread attention in 2015 due to its potential to cause serious birth defects in babies born to infected mothers.
It is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
In addition to being transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy, Zika can be passed on through sexual contact, blood transfusion, and organ transplantation.
Symptoms for those who do experience them usually appear within 3-7 days of being infected and can include fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes (conjunctivitis), headache, muscle pain and fatigue.