By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Panarat Thepgumpanat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand is considering testing all pregnant women for Zika, the health ministry said on Monday, following confirmation last week of its first known cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size, linked to the Zika virus. The two confirmed cases of microcephaly were the first in Southeast Asia linked to mosquito-borne Zika, which has been spreading in the region after outbreaks in the Americas. "The health minister has asked us to study whether this is necessary and cost-effective," health ministry permanent secretary Sophon Mekthon told Reuters, referring to free tests for all pregnant women. A Zika test costs about 2,000 baht ($58) but repeat tests are often needed, Sophon said. "At the moment, we check pregnant women in Zika-affected areas only, not all pregnant women. So far, we've tested about 1,000 pregnant women." Zika infections in pregnant women have been shown to cause microcephaly - a severe birth defect in which the head and brain are undersized - as well as other brain abnormalities. The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last year in Brazil, which has since confirmed more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly. Thailand has confirmed 392 Zika cases since January, including 39 pregnant women, and Singapore has recorded 393 Zika cases, including 16 pregnant women. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said people should consider postponing travel to Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, East Timor, and Vietnam. The CDC has already issued a "travel notice" for Singapore. There is no vaccine or treatment and an estimated 80 percent of people infected with Zika have no symptoms, making it difficult for pregnant women to know whether they have been infected. Sexual transmission of the virus has also been reported. Zika testing is free in Singapore for pregnant women with symptoms of the virus or with male partners who are Zika-positive. Pregnant women without symptoms get subsidized tests. Some health experts have accused tourism-dependent Thailand of playing down the Zika risk but health officials have dismissed that. Health authorities in the region say they are stepping up monitoring, but there has been little testing and some officials say the real number of cases was bound to be higher than the confirmed figure. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia have all reported at least one case. In adults, Zika infections have also been linked to a rare neurological syndrome known as Guillain-Barre, as well as other neurological disorders. (Additonal reporting by Fathin Ungku in SINGAPORE; Editing by Robert Birsel)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
The 24-year-old head armorer of Alec Baldwin's movie 'Rust' told a podcast she 'almost didn't take' her last job because she wasn't sure if she was 'ready'
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, told podcast she almost turned down the head armorer job in a recent project due to self-doubt about her experience.
Jennette McCurdy Talked About The "Intense" Abuse From Her Mom, Who Would Perform Breast Exams On Her And Not Let Her Shower Alone
"It was like walking a tightrope every day."View Entire Post ›
- College Football News
After another wild week of college football, what will the Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY possibly look like? It's our prediction and best guess on what the latest rankings will be after Week 8.
Her majesty has a long list of future successors.
- LA Times
The Dodgers made a hefty financial commitment starting in 2020 to make the Dodgers a perennial World Series contender, but will they continue to pay out?
- Idaho Statesman
With six No. 1 country songs to tap, this concert should be a crowd pleaser.
- LA Times
At least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to production managers about gun safety on the set.
- Who What Wear
And how to style it in five different ways.
- Atlanta Black Star
‘Income Earned During the Marriage Are His Separate Property’: Robert De Niro Won’t Be Splitting His $500 Million Fortune with Estranged Wife In Divorce Settlement, Court Decides
Robert De Niro won’t be breaking the bank as his long-standing divorce proceedings come to a close. The Hollywood A-lister can release a sigh of […]
The "let down" singer shared a pair of photos from Wednesday night's ritual on Instagram, which featured her and four friends posing seminude
Collin Morikawa has already won two majors in his fledgling pro career, but the 24-year-old American managed a new first at the PGA Tour's Zozo Championship on Saturday.
- Washington Examiner
A leading critic of the National Institutes of Health contends the federal agency “put at risk” U.S. public health and national security by funding a bat coronavirus research project by EcoHealth Alliance.
From natural-looking coverage to subtle tricks that make the eyes pop, legendary makeup artist Sandy Linter’s guide to age-defying beauty.
- NBC Sports BayArea
After winning 106 games and beating the Giants in the NLDS, the Dodgers are headed home without the hardware.
- Touchdown Wire
Arch Manning with a long run for a TD in front of Georgia coach Kirby Smart
- The New York Times
NOTTINGHAM, England — Lizzie Wilson was standing in a crowded nightclub Monday night with three friends when she felt a sharp pinch in her back, as if she had been pricked by a needle. Ten minutes later, she was struggling to stand. Wilson, 18, said she had heard about young women being injected with syringes at crowded clubs and immediately feared she was another victim. Her friends rushed her to the hospital, where she spent hours disoriented and without sensation in her legs. “Nobody should e
- Motley Fool
The closer you get to retirement, dividend income will rank higher among your investing objectives. Many dividend stocks won't provide all that much income each year. Investing $100,000 spread across these three dividend stocks could give you added income of close to $7,700 per year.
- Steelers Wire
The penalty occurred in the third quarter of the Steelers Sunday Night Football matchup versus Seattle Seahawks.
- Women's Health
Emma Watson wore a crop top that revealed her bra and her toned abs to meet Al Gore. The actress works out with celeb trainer Emily Drew for 30-minute sessions.
- Good Housekeeping
'Jeopardy!' cohost and 'Big Bang Theory' actress Mayim Bialik shared exciting news in her new TikTok with her boyfriend, Jonathan Cohen. See what she had to say and how fans reacted to the milestone.