PUTRAJAYA — September 7, 2016: Malaysia today reported its third case of Zika and the first involving a pregnant woman.
The 27-year-old woman from Johor Baru tested positive after she sought treatment for rashes, body aches and fever at a government hospital there yesterday.
The woman, who was into the third or fourth month of pregnancy, has been admitted to the hospital for treatment and counselling.
“The woman’s husband works in Singapore. The health ministry is awaiting the result of a test to find out whether he has been infected as well.
“We are trying to determine whether the woman was infected through the bite of a mosquito or sexual transmission,” said minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam at a press conference.
The woman is the third case of Zika detected in Malaysia. The first was a 58-year-old woman from Klang who had contracted the disease in Singapore
and the second was a man in Sabah.
The pregnant woman’s last visit to Singapore , where there were 275 cases until yesterday, was six months ago but her husband commutes daily to his workplace in Geylang.
Subramaniam said vector control measures have been implemented immediately in Johor Baru, including in the vicinity of the woman’s house. So far, 400 houses had been inspected and 450 premises fogged.
Asked whether the woman would be allowed to undergo an abortion, Subramaniam said the authorities would allow medical therapeutical abortion in cases the life of the mother is threatened from the pregnancy. In the absence of that, the ministry’s current policy does not allow us to do so.
Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly or abnormal smallness of the head.
The minister advised women confirmed to be Zika-infected to avoid getting pregnant and practise safe sex for at least eight weeks from the date of
As for men confirmed to be infected, they should practise safe sex or abstain for six months.
Between September 1 and 6, the ministry’s monitoring detected 30 people with symptoms of Zika but their blood and urine tests showed up
Symptoms of Zika infection include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and vomiting.
Subramaniam said the ministry would continue with its monitoring to address the Zika threat, particularly at the international gateways into the country.
The Cabinet at its weekly meeting today decided that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi will chair a Committee on Environmental Cleanliness.
The committee will meet all relevant government agencies to coordinate vector-control activities in the effort to eradicate the breeding grounds of the
Aedes mosquito, carrier of the Zika virus as well as the dengue virus. — Bernama