CHIANG MAI -- A boy and a girl, both aged 13 years, diagnosed as infected with the Zika virus were now free of the disease, Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said on Wednesday.
Natee Damrong, mayor of Tambon Sai Sai Luang Municipality, issued an announcement under the Municipality Act of 1953 on Tuesday declaring Ban Cho village in tambon San Sai Noi a disease control area after the two 13-year-old residents were found on June 20 to have the Zika virus in their bloodstream.
Mr Natee said the disease control announcement was routine and would be in effect for 28 days.
The boy and the girl were found to have the virus after returning from Phetchabun province.
The health minister said on Wednesday the two students were already free from the Zika infection, but monitoring was still needed in the area for another 28 days to ensure other people had not been infected, particularly those close to the two teens.
Officials from the Disease Control Department were strictly implementing control measures such as spraying to kill mosquito larvae.
He advised people to do their best not to be bitten by mosquitoes, such as sleeping under a mosquito net and ensuring there were no sources of stagnant water nearby the insects could breed in.
Mr Piyasakol said the cabinet had approved the ministry’s three-year plan to control communicable diseases, with 1,030 local committees to be appointed nationwide
Zika is an arbovirus (arthropod-borne virus), spread by bites from Aedes mosquitoes – which are also responsible for spreading other viruses such as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
The virus can also be sexually transmitted, medical authorities say.
Symptoms of infection include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days, according to the World Health Organisaton.
The Zika virus in pregnant women has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly - an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain.