Are you worried about getting Zika in Thailand? Zika is a virus commonly spread by mosquitos and other animals. It’s mostly harmless but can lead to severe complications, especially for pregnant women. So, is there Zika in Thailand?
Yes, there is the Zika virus in Thailand. The Zika virus is mainly spread through mosquito bites in Thailand, so you should avoid getting bit by a mosquito while there. Pregnant women should avoid traveling to Thailand if possible and abstain from having sex after returning from Thailand.
Is Thailand A High-Risk Country For Zika?
Thailand has reported Zika cases in the past and currently has active Zika cases. While there currently isn’t a Zika outbreak in Thailand, there still is a risk of contracting the disease when visiting the country. You can consider Thailand as a moderate risk for contracting the Zika virus.
Thailand has had Zika outbreaks in the past, and the mosquito that carries the Zika virus is found in Thailand, which means that there is always a chance of contracting the virus. Fortunately, for most healthy people, the Zika virus may cause temporary illness with complete recovery.
How Can You Get Zika In Thailand?
There are a few ways to contract the Zika virus. The most common way people get the Zika virus in Thailand is when bit by an infected mosquito. Other animals also spread the Zika virus, but mosquitos are most responsible for infecting these animals and people.
You can also contract the Zika virus through oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone with the Zika virus. Once a person has the Zika virus, they also become carriers and can spread it through sex for a few months.
As the Zika virus can remain in semen and bodily fluids for months after you were infected, it’s important to use barrier contraception for at least three months.
Can Pregnant Women Travel To Thailand?
Although the Zika virus generally doesn’t cause permanent health problems, there is an exception in the case of pregnancy. Suppose a pregnant woman gets infected with the Zika virus. In that case, the virus can pass on to the fetus and cause congenital disabilities and lifelong problems for the baby.
Therefore, pregnant women are advised to avoid traveling to countries with reported Zika cases, like Thailand, if possible. If you must go to Thailand while pregnant, consult your doctor to ask about prevention methods, so you don’t contract Zika. Protect yourself from mosquito bites while in Thailand if you are pregnant.
How Do You Avoid Getting Zika In Thailand?
While you cannot be 100% safe against the Zika virus in Thailand, you can follow some simple steps to reduce your chances of contracting it. Here are steps you can follow to reduce your chances of getting the Zika virus in Thailand:
- Use insect repellant whenever you are outside.
- Sleep under a mosquito net.
- Wear long-sleeved clothes to prevent mosquito bites.
- Abstain from having sex for three months (female) or six months (male) after returning from Thailand or use a barrier contraceptive like condoms.
- Ask your GP for advice to avoid getting the Zika virus before traveling to Thailand.
How Do You Avoid Infecting Others With Zika?
Once infected with the Zika virus, you can spread it to other people through sex. To avoid infecting others with the Zika virus, abstain from sexual intercourse for at least 3 months if you are a female, and 6 months if you are a male. You can also use a condom to prevent others from getting infected.
Since pregnant women are at higher risk for getting complications from the Zika virus, they should avoid sex for the remainder of their pregnancy if they or their partners have been to Thailand.
If you are trying to get pregnant, abstain from sex for at least 6 months after you or your partner has been to Thailand.
Is Zika Active In Thailand?
There are active cases of Zika in Thailand, and there have been reported cases from tourists who contracted Zika in Thailand in 2022. So while there isn’t an active outbreak of Zika in Thailand, there is a chance of contracting the virus when you visit the country.
Fortunately, the Zika virus causes mild illness in most people, except those who are pregnant. So you can travel to Thailand even if there have been virus reports this year. Some people get more severe diseases, like Guillain-Barré disease, which affects the nervous system.
So there is some risk of traveling to a country with reported cases of the Zika virus.
How Many Reported Cases Of Zika Are There In Thailand?
There isn’t an exact number of reported cases of Zika infection in Thailand for the year. Still, a few hundred people likely contracted it during this year, based on previous research. For example, there were 568 reported cases of Zika in Thailand in 2018.
Considering how big the Thai population is and how many people visit the country each year, your chances of getting the Zika virus aren’t too great.
Is It Easy To Get Zika In Thailand?
Although you probably will get bit by more than one mosquito in Thailand, you won’t necessarily contract the Zika virus from them. There isn’t a current outbreak of Zika in Thailand, and there hasn’t been one for several years.
This means that despite being at moderate risk for contracting Zika in Thailand, you won’t easily get it. If you follow the proper prevention methods discussed above, you further reduce the chances of contracting the Zika virus in Thailand.
It will be easier to get the Zika virus if you don’t use insect repellant, stroll around in the fields without wearing protective clothing, or sleep without a mosquito net. Still, your chances of contracting the Zika virus aren’t that high.
Is There A Zika Vaccine For Thailand?
There isn’t a vaccine against the Zika virus, and you cannot take any preventative medication when traveling to Thailand. The only thing you can do to protect yourself from getting the Zika virus in Thailand is to prevent mosquito bites and use condoms when having sex.
Since the Zika virus is rarely life-threatening, there isn’t a lot of research being put into developing a vaccine. So it’s up to you to prevent contracting the Zika virus when visiting Thailand as much as possible. You can do so by following the preventative measures discussed above.
What To Do If You Get The Zika Virus In Thailand?
If you get the Zika virus while in Thailand or after returning home, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Swollen joints
- Red, irritated eyes
- A rash
Since there isn’t any specific medication for treating the Zica virus, you can only treat your symptoms. Drink pain medication and anti-inflammatories for pain and swelling. Use cold compresses for the rash, and drink plenty of fluids.
Report your symptoms to your GP, so they can make a reported case of the Zika virus. Also, contact your GP if you or your partner are pregnant.
Go to your nearest GP or hospital if you notice numbness, a tingling sensation, or pins and needles after returning from Thailand, as it may indicate something more serious.