A total of 110 people have been infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus since January this year and the number of infections has continued rising since May, according to the Public Health Ministry.
From Jan 1 to July 19, there were 110 reported cases of the Zika virus in 20 provinces, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, permanent secretary for public health, said on Wednesday. The highest number of infections were reported in June, with 30 cases, he added.
In July, the virus has so far infected six pregnant women in five provinces - two in Chanthaburi and one each in Phitsanulok, Rayong, Samut Songkhram and Trat. The disease might pose a greater risk of miscarriages or microcephaly, a birth defect that leads to smaller-than-average head size in babies, Dr Opas warned.
Health officials closely followed up on 241 pregnant women infected with Zika between 2016 and 2022. Among them, four experienced miscarriages, three gave birth to babies with microcephaly, all testing positive for the Zika virus.
The officials had also followed up on child development of 77 cases for two years and four cases were found to have abnormal development, he said.
Clinical surveillance of 2,187 newborns identified three cases of abnormalities associated with Zika infections. Officials followed up on child development of four cases for two years, and three of those cases showed development abnormalities.
Dr Opas said Zika infections have been found in pregnant women this year, and the disease has spread across all regions of the country, mostly in areas where dengue fever outbreaks occurred.
He has ordered provincial health offices to conduct health screening of patients, particularly pregnant women in communities, displaying at least one symptom such as rashes, fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Health volunteers have been instructed to encourage the public to help get rid of breeding grounds for mosquito larvae in their communities.