Malaysia confirms first case of Zika infection

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia confirms its first case of Zika infection. A 58 year-old woman who visited Singapore on Aug 19 tested positive, said the country’s Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam in a press conference on Thursday (Sept 1).
The woman who lives in Bandar Botanic in Klang, was admitted to Sungei Buluh government hospital, he said, adding that contact tracing has started.
He said the woman tested positive for Zika after she experienced a rash and fever for a week following her return from Singapore. She has since recovered in hospital and is expected to be discharged by the end of the week.
Her house has been thoroughly fogged and the housing estate within a 400 meter radius has been put under strict anti-Aedes control measures including larvicide fogging.
The woman’s daughter who works in Singapore and lives in Paya Lebar has also been infected, according to the minister.
Outlining the measures to be taken following the announcement, Dr Subramaniam urged the public to allow vector control officers to come into their homes to fog.
The minister also added that while it is not practical for Malaysia to issue a travel advisory given there are 200,000 Malaysians working in Singapore with daily commutes.
“You have about 200,000 people working in Singapore, so we have to be realistic about this. We have to accept the fact that these people will be going to Singapore and coming on a daily basis, so I think the more practical method of dealing with that is to advise them to take precautions against mosquito bites,” said the minister.
Dr Subramaniam says his ministry will also be asking transport companies servicing the busy causeway between Malaysia and Singapore to spray their vehicles with insect repellent regularly.
“Mosquitoes do come in buses and cars. We just want to reduce the risks. We will try to contact the people concerned and convey this request from our side that to do this to prevent entry of vehicles that could possibly bring in mosquitoes,” he said.
– CNA/mn/ec

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