Thailand confirmed on Friday that the Zika virus had caused two cases of microcephaly, a condition that results in babies being born with small heads, the first time microcephaly had been linked to Zika in Southeast Asia.
“To summarize, we have found two cases of small heads linked to Zika, the first cases in Thailand,” Prasert Thongcharoen, an adviser to the Department of Disease Control, told reporters in Bangkok. He declined to say where in Thailand the cases were found. The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement the cases were the first of Zika-linked microcephaly in Southeast Asia.
Microcephaly is a rare birth defect that has been linked, in Brazil in particular, to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is spreading in Southeast Asia. Health authorities in Thailand have confirmed 349 Zika cases since January, including 33 pregnant women. Singapore has recorded 393, including 16 pregnant women. (Reuters)
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