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What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus, and most people who are infected do not develop symptoms. However, those infected by the Zika virus are shown to have symptoms ranging from rashes, fevers, muscle and joint pain, malaise, headaches, and conjunctivitis, with an incubation period of 3-14 days. 

Although cases of the Zika virus have greatly declined, the transmission of the virus still persists around the world. Given its relevance, this Pacific Prime Thailand article will provide an overview of the symptoms, complications, means of transmission, and diagnosis of the virus. 

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Transmission of the Zika Virus

In short, the Zika virus is transmitted by infected Aedes (Stegomyia) mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical climates. It is also worth noting that these mosquitoes tend to bite during the daytime and are also capable of transmitting other diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and urban yellow fever. 

Other means of transmission comprise sexual contact, the transfusion of blood and blood products, and transmission from mother to fetus during pregnancy. The latter is the most dangerous, as it places the infant at risk of severe birth complications. 

Symptoms and Complications of the Zika Virus

Most instances of symptoms of the Zika virus in humans are generally mild and last up to 7 days. Given the low level of severity, it is uncommon for those infected to seek hospital treatment. 

The common symptoms comprise:

  • Skin rashes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fevers

Having said this, complications may occur if a woman is infected during pregnancy, which may cause microcephaly and congenital malformations in infants, resulting in: 

  • Hearing loss 
  • Eye abnormalities
  • High muscle tone
  • Limb contractures

More severe cases include stillbirth, fetal loss, and preterm birth, with complications capable of showing up in cases of infection that show no outward signs of illness. This has prompted further research into the risks and effects of infection during pregnancy in order to identify additional effects and strategies for prevention. 

Although Zika symptoms are typically mild, pregnant women infected with Zika are at risk of transmitting the virus to their unborn infants.
Although Zika symptoms are typically mild, pregnant women infected with Zika are at risk of transmitting the virus to their unborn infants.

Can the Zika Virus Cause Death?

In severe cases, the risk of death caused by the Zika virus is highest in live-born children with congenital Zika syndrome. Other severe conditions caused by the virus include Guillain-Barre syndrome, wherein nerve cells are attacked by the immune system, causing muscle weakness and paralysis. 

Despite the rarity of severe conditions, they should be treated with caution. These include the swelling of the brain and spinal cord and a blood disorder that may result in bruising, bleeding, or blood clotting. 


While most people infected by the Zika virus are asymptomatic, a diagnosis of the virus can be thoroughly checked and confirmed by laboratory blood or urine tests. Upon collection of these samples, they are then differentiated from other flaviviruses, such as the Dengue virus.

In addition, testing for the Zika virus is generally recommended for those who show clear symptoms, especially pregnant women. In this case, molecular testing should take place as soon as possible to identify the presence of the virus in the body. 

Treatment Methods

As of today, there is no specific treatment method for the Zika virus. Those who are infected with the virus are encouraged to seek treatment based on the symptoms, such as getting adequate rest, staying hydrated, and taking over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce fever and pain. 

Please note that while anti-inflammatory drugs may help in treating the symptoms, they should be avoided until Dengue virus infections are ruled out; this is to eliminate the risk of bleeding. In the case of severe symptoms, patients are encouraged to seek immediate medical care. 

Ways of Prevention

Methods of prevention against the Zika virus are multifaceted. Protection against mosquito bites and making use of the full range of contraceptive methods are considered vital. Given that these are two of the most common means of transmission, they warrant the following approaches.

To protect against mosquito bites, young children, especially pregnant women, are encouraged to apply mosquito repellent to their skin. Clothing containing icaridin, IR3535, or DEET repellent, as shown on product labels, can also help ward off mosquitoes, adding an additional layer of protection. 

In regards to sexual transmission, prevention can be achieved through the use of contraceptives and engaging in safe sex practices. Couples are encouraged to read up on the various risk factors associated with pregnancy, taking into account the potential adverse fetal outcomes.

Getting treatment in Thailand can be expensive, but with the right insurance plan, you can rest assured knowing you'll receive the best medical care possible.
Getting treatment in Thailand can be expensive, but with the right insurance plan, you can rest assured knowing you’ll receive the best medical care possible.

Are These Dangers Covered by Your Health Insurance? 

With the rainy season in full swing, travelers and expats are urged to take heed of the various wet season illnesses in Thailand. These include dengue fever, the common flu, pneumonia, and the Zika virus, which is endemic to Thailand. 

Additionally, the unpredictability of seasonal illnesses justifies taking the next step to secure individual health insurance plans for yourself or your family. This adds an extra layer of coverage should you rack up hospital bills. 

Soon-to-be mothers are also encouraged to seek coverage with the best maternity health insurance plans to ensure the best start for their babies, given that maternity care can be highly expensive in Thailand. 

If you’re in need of a robust and complete insurance plan, Pacific Prime Thailand can help. As one of Asia’s leading insurance brokers, we aim to simplify insurance and help expats receive the best health care possible.


Thailand is a bustling tourist destination known for its exquisite food, lush and green mountainous regions, and tropical beach paradises. However, significant risks may present themselves to those who are unaware of the seasonal illnesses in the country. 

Thailand has one of the fastest growing medical industries owing to a highly skilled medical workforce. With the right insurance plan to suit your unique needs, you can access the best healthcare services that Thailand has to offer. 

At Pacific Prime Thailand, we can match your needs and budget with the right plan. Our partnerships with some of the best private insurers can provide you with the most comprehensive options.  

To get started, compare plans or contact us today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Zika virus present in Thailand?

Most recent surveillance and phylogenetic studies have shown that the Zika virus has been present in every region of Thailand since 2002, when it was initially identified as a focal disease. 

What are the symptoms of the Zika virus?

A Zika virus infection typically causes a high temperature, a rash, a headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain. Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome and other congenital malformations.

Does the Zika virus cause any harm to humans?

The Zika infection during pregnancy may cause serious congenital malformations and, in the worst case, cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare sickness in which nerve cells are attacked by the immune system, causing weakness and paralysis. 

Can the Zika virus go away on its own?

The Zika fever or infection is typically mild and goes away on its own. 

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Content Writer at Pacific Prime
Piyanat is a Content Writer with an affinity for storytelling and marketing. He works with a team of experienced professionals at Pacific Prime who create a range of engaging and informative content aimed at helping both individuals and companies understand the importance of and benefits of insurance.

Upon graduating from Mahidol University International College’s International Relations program, he spent his career in marketing and business development, working for an international subcontractor, a marketing research firm, an international news agency, a software development company, and a creative agency. His journey now continues at Pacific Prime, where he hopes to make an impact by simplifying insurance.

In his free time, Piyanat is an avid martial artist and musician, spending most of his time at boxing gyms in Nakhon Pathom and music studios with his friends in the music industry. He’s also a big fan of turtles.
Piyanat Jantharot
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