Nakhon Ratchasima: The province's public health authorities are bracing for a possible Zika virus outbreak, as at least 19 people have been infected across the lower Northeast region, the Office of Disease Prevention and Control for the 9th Region said on Monday.
In a post on Facebook on Monday, the office said between Jan 1-3 alone, at least 19 cases of Zika infections were detected -- 14 in Surin and five in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Most of the patients are under the age of 14, the office said.
Nationwide, at least 758 cases have been detected in 36 provinces. Chanthaburi, Phetchabun, and Trat reported the highest number of Zika infections, the office added.
Taweechai Wisanuyothin, the office's director, said the disease is spread by mosquitos in the same manner as dengue fever and chikungunya, but there have been reported incidences of mother-to-child Zika vitus transmissions.
Those who are infected often develop rashes, fever, headaches, joint and muscle pains.
"If you experience any of these symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention, especially if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant," he said, noting the disease may cause birth defects or developmental delay.
As such, Dr Taweechai said, obstetricians need to closely monitor the health of pregnant women who are infected by the Zika virus.
He urged all members of the public to clean their dwellings and neighbourhood to prevent mosquitos from breeding in their area.
Mosquitos need clean, stagnant water to breed, so the public is urged to cover all water containers near their homes, he said.
The use of insect repellents are also encouraged, as it will help reduce the likelihood of getting bitten by an infected mosquito.