Thailand finds 33 new cases of Zika

Bangkok ThailandUpdated: Nov 16, 2016, 06:47 AM IST

Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia in September to confirm Zika-linked microcephaly, a condition that results in babies being born with small heads and has one of the highest numbers of Zika cases in the region. Photograph:(AFP)

Thai health officials have detected 33 new cases of Zika. "We confirmed 33 new cases last week and have detected the virus in two further provinces," Ministry of Public Health spokesman Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai told Reuters.

Suwannachai said health campaigns warning travellers about Zika have been increased as many Thais flock to Bangkok to take part in national mourning activities for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died on October 13, Reuters reported.

"This is a period of movement with people coming to the capital from the provinces to take part in various activities," he said. "We have to remind them that Zika is a silent disease and some people won't have symptoms."

Thailand has reported more than 680 cases of Zika since January, according to Reuters.

In October 2015, Brazil reported an association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly. WHO has concluded that Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of congenital brain abnormalities, including microcephaly.

(WION with inputs from agencies)