According to the Bangkok Times, the Zika virus was documented in Thailand four years ago but did not raise any alarms because dengue fever remains a greater concern here for health officials. The two viruses are similar in that they are carried by mosquitos and may produce a red rash in the infected person. The current belief is that there have been many people infected by zika but who have had mild or no symptoms.
There has been little to no concern about zika because people didn’t seem to get very sick from it. However, due to the prevalence of cases across Brazil and the alarming rise in babies there being born with microcephaly (very small heads), travel alerts are being issued all over the world advising pregnant women to not travel where there are known outbreaks of the disease.
The zika virus has also been known to trigger a condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome which causes temporary paralysis.
So what should you do to protect yourself?
If you are pregnant, you should think seriously about your travel plans.
Thailand has mosquitoes, so you should be proactive in discouraging their breeding. Don’t leave water laying around in open containers. Spray regularly. Wear protective clothing and mosquito spray if you go into the woods or jungle or you are out after dusk.