Taipei : The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued its second-highest travel advisory in its three-tier system Sunday for Thailand after the World Health Organization listed the country Feb. 12 as one of the countries to report indigenous Zika virus cases.
The CDC called on pregnant women to put on hold travel to Thailand, and said that tourists traveling there should also take precautions and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
The CDC’s three-tier system is watch, alert and warning, in order of severity.
Since the onset of the mosquito-borne disease in Brazil in 2015, it has spread to a few countries around the world, mainly in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
The CDC said that 36 countries in Central and South America, and the Caribbean, as well as Asia, have been listed as “alert,” the second-highest level of travel advisory, while Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Gabon in Africa have been tagged with a travel watch, the lowest advisory.
The CDC said that around 80 percent of infected adults show no symptoms, while others can have fever, skin rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The symptoms are similar to another mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever, but in a much milder form. Serious cases are rare.
However, the World Health Organization suspects that pregnant women infected with the Zika virus could give birth to babies with microcephaly — a condition in which a child is born with a smaller-than-normal head and impaired brain development.