The Cambodian government on Friday said it that it had detected the country's first case of Zika virus infection in 2016.
A 44-year-old man from the country’s eastern Komping Cham province’s Ta Meang Village was found to be infected with the mosquito-borne virus that has spread worldwide.
The man was admitted to hospital on Nov. 14. He was discharged on Friday after fully recovering, according to the ministry. The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge had detected the virus on November 11.
The Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are active and bite in the daytime. Aedes aegypti can also transmit dengue, which is endemic throughout Cambodia, and the man was first suspected of contracting the fever.
Although symptoms are generally mild in adults, the virus is dreaded because it can cause microcephaly -- smaller-than-normal and misshapen skulls -- in the babies of infected mothers.
Some countries have also reported a steep increase in Guillain-Barre syndrome -- a neurological disorder that could lead to paralysis and death. The Zika virus is thought to be a trigger for the disorder.
Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng appealed on Friday for people to be watchful, to avoid mosquito bites, and to seek medical assistance if they show symptoms of Zika infection.
Zika symptoms include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain and conjunctivitis.
The virus, for which there is no vaccine of specific treatment, has been detected in Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.
In recent years, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam have all reported cases of the disease, as have other Asian countries including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Reported by Sereyvuth Oung for RFA's Khmer Service. Translated by Nareth Muong. Written in English by Brooks Boliek.