The Disease Control Department (DCD) has found that religious sites are the main breeding grounds of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that can spread Zika. Its recent survey showed that almost 86 per cent of religious sites were found to have mosquito larvae.
The recent survey by the DCD showed mosquito larvae had been found at 85.71 per cent of religious sites.
“These larvae are mostly found in largely overlooked stuff that can contain water such as tree pots or unused tyres,” DCD director-general Dr Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk said yesterday.
He said 63.64 per cent of schools had hosted mosquito breeding grounds. Larvae had also been found in a quarter of hotels and about 18 per cent of factories.
DCD deputy director-general Dr Panumard Yarnwaidsakul said Zika had already become an endemic disease in Thailand with new cases being reported on a daily basis. He said the department is currently monitoring one case of microcephaly.
Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon said that in order to fight against such communicable diseases, it was necessary to crack down on mosquito breeding grounds.
“If we can launch a complete crackdown, we can prevent the spread of not just Zika virus but other [mosquito-borne] diseases such as dengue fever and Chikungunya fever,” he said.
Sopon said 33 new Zika virus patients were reported during the past week in 12 provinces.
He said about 80 per cent of Zika-infected people do not know that they have caught the disease because in healthy adults the virus hardly causes any symptoms.
Thailand has reported more than 680 cases of Zika since January.