Cambodia records first Zika infection case in years

21-Nov-2016 Intellasia | Nikkei | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The Cambodian government announced Friday that it has detected the country’s first case of Zika virus infection in recent years.

The health ministry, in a statement, said a 44-year-old man living in Tameang Village, Kompong Siem District in Cambodia’s eastern province of Kompong Cham, was found to be infected with the mosquito-borne virus, which has spread around the world.

The man was hospitalised last Monday and was discharged Friday after fully recovering, it said.

It marks the first Zika case detected in Cambodia since 2010 and the eight one since 2007, according to the statement.

Although symptoms are generally mild in adults, the virus is much dreaded because it causes smaller-than-normal and misshapen skulls in unborn babies whose mothers have been infected.

Some countries have also reported a steep increase in Guillain-Barre syndrome – a neurological disorder that could lead to paralysis and death – for which the Zika virus is believed to be a trigger.

Cambodian Health minister Mam Bunheng appealed Friday for people to be vigilant and avoid mosquito bites, and to seek medical assistance if they show symptoms of Zika infection, which include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain and conjunctivitis.

The Zika virus, for which there is no vaccine of specific treatment, has been detected in Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

In recent years, Cambodia’s immediate neighbours Laos, Thailand and Vietnam have all reported cases of local transmission, as have other countries in the region such as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes biting during the daytime. These same mosquitoes can also transmit dengue, which is endemic throughout Cambodia.


Category: Health

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