Thailand on alert against Zika virus

Bangkok: Thailand's health authorities have
stepped up surveillance on the spread of Zika after two women
in , were found to have been infected with the deadly

    The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said that
from Janaury 1 to September 4 this year there were eight
Zika virus cases in the capital, including two cases of
pregnant women.

    One of the woman has already given birth to a healthy
baby who has no symptoms of the virus so far.
    However, authorities said they will continue to monitor
the baby's health and conduct regular blood and urine tests.
    Another infected woman is in her 18th week of pregnancy
and her condition is being closely monitored by health
authorities, according to Benjasai Keeyapat, the BMA's


    The BMA's immediate actions are to eradicate the sources
of the mosquitos that carry the virus and build an effective
monitoring and reporting network.

    During the four-month period, Benjasai said there were
two groups of infected persons in Bangkok.
    One group included people who reside in Bangkok but have
recently travelled to provinces where there have been cases of
Zika infection.

    The second group included six infected provincial
residents who earlier came to Bangkok but returned to normal
health, The Nation newspaper reported.
    Benjasai said the BMA has increased its public
information campaigns to advise Bangkok residents of the virus
and its potential danger to pregnant women as their babies
could suffer from microcephaly, a congenital condition
associated with incomplete brain development.
    Thailand has reported a total of 97 Zika virus cases
since the start of this year, with infected persons found in
16 provinces.

    Four provinces, namely Chiang Mai, Chanthaburi,
Phetchabun and Bung Kan, are being closely monitored, it said.