SIX persons in northern Lampang province have been confirmed to be suffering for Zika fever, which is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes and if the virus goes from a pregnant woman to her baby can result in microcephaly, severe brain malformations, and other birth defects, the Thai-language daily Matichon reported today (June 7, 2018).
Mr Chusak Suwan, the head of Thung Wang Thong village in Thung Hua subdistrict, Wang Nuea district, said in April this year many villagers came down with Zika fever-type symptoms and were continuously sent to Wang Nuea Hospital.
It has been confirmed by doctors that 6 villagers were really suffering from Zika fever, while another 50 are being watched and are awaiting confirmation, he added
Dr Varintheop Chuasamran, who specializes in preventive medicine and works at Lampang Provincial Health Office, said he got a report of an outbreak of this disease in Lampang in May and sent a team to investigate and control its spread in Thung Hua subdistirct, Wang Nuea district, and 50 villagers were found to be suffering from fever and rash.
The blood and urine of 7 were sent for a check and as 6 tested positive for this disease, this confirms that it is present in this province, he added
District and provincial officials together with volunteers have taken an offensive to destroy Aedes mosquito breeding grounds and are heavily spraying the area. This being the first time this disease has appeared in this province.
According to Wikipedia.com, Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae. It is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus. Its name comes from the Ziika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.
Zika virus is related to the dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. Since the 1950s, it has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia. From 2007 to 2016, the virus spread eastward, across the Pacific Ocean to the Americas, leading to the 2015–16 Zika virus epidemic.
The infection, known as Zika fever or Zika virus disease, often causes no or only mild symptoms, similar to a very mild form of dengue fever.
While there is no specific treatment, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and rest may help with the symptoms. As of 2016, the illness cannot be prevented by medications or vaccines.
Zika can spread from a pregnant woman to her baby. This can result in microcephaly, severe brain malformations, and other birth defects. Zika infections in adults may result rarely in Guillain–Barré syndrome.
In January 2016, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued travel guidance on affected countries, including the use of enhanced precautions, and guidelines for pregnant women including considering postponing travel.
Top and below: Health officials spraying liquid to kill Aedes mosquito larvae in Lampang’s Thung Hua subdistrict. Photo: Matichon