Malaysia gets second Zika case, this time in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia recorded its first locally-transmitted Zika case when a 61-year-old man tested positive for the virus in Likas, Sabah. The finding makes the man the country’s second case. Two days ago, the health authorities confirmed that a 58-year-old woman from Klang had the virus after visiting Singapore. A statement by Health Ministry today stated that the man, from Taman Public Jaya in Likas, developed high fever on Aug 27 and his condition deteriorated with muscle pain and diarrhoea. He was admitted to the emergency and trauma unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2 on Aug 31 for further treatment.

Urine and blood tests indicated that the man tested positive for Zika. The severity of the symptoms might be caused by the man’s existing medical condition such as hypertension, chronic artery disease, chronic kidney disease and kidney stones. The man, however, has not recently traveled to Zika-affected countries. Authorities believe he is likely to have been bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito here. Early this year, Universiti Malaysia Sabah Entomologist Associate Professor Dr Chua Tock Hing revealed that a woman from Germany had possibly contracted the disease in Keningau, Sabah, two years ago. He was referring to a United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report during a talk organised by Jesselton Medical Centre here in February. The CDC report, “Emerging Infectious Diseases” Volume 21 — Number 5, May 2015 said the 45-year-old woman from Heidelberg, Germany, fell ill six days after her return from a three-week vacation in Malaysia in August 2014. The report also cited a study by Marchette NJ, Garcia R and Rudrick A on isolation of Zika virus from Aedes mosquitoes in Malaysia, which shows that antibodies against Zika virus were detected in 15 out of 79 people in Peninsular Malaysia and nine out of 50 in Sabah in 1969.


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