KUALA LUMPUR – Aug 30, 2016: The spread of the Zika virus in neighbouring Singapore has caused anxiety amongst Malaysians.
Netizens have been expressing their concern over the pandemic and implored all authorities concerned to do the necessary to avoid the mosquito-borne viral infection from spreading to Malaysia.
Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, the same type that causes dengue infection.
The first case of the virus in Singapore was reported last Saturday, involving a 47-year-old Malaysian woman who lives and works there.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency today revealed that the number of cases had increased to 56, all confirmed to be locally transmitted.
Since then many local Facebook users have been talking about their fear of the disease and call for all Malaysians to help eradicate its main vector, which is the Aedes mosquito.
Dr. Mohd Syamirulah Rahim wrote that those infected with the Zika virus would normally be down with fever, rashes and bloodshot eyes, which are generally mild in nature.
“The symptoms are too ‘subtle’, one might not realise that he or she is already infected. I would suggest for people to maintain their home cleanliness and help eradicate breeding spots of the mosquito.
“Zika might not cause death to its victims but it causes brain damage on a small number of babies if the mother is infected during pregnancy, especially in the early months.”
A’liyah Ahmad wrote to express her concern: “I am extremely worried right now. I am pregnant and few of my close friends are also expecting. Let us all ensure that our homes are Aedes-free. I hope this will end soon.”
Sri P A had this to say: “Please, all, just take precautions. It is probably already here in our country. Let’s pray and help eradicate Aedes.”
This was what Sean Ang wrote: “Red alert! Zika virus can easily spread through the Aedes mosquito, and if it comes to Malaysia, it will be very fatal. I hope the government will do everything to mitigate this coming crisis.”
Nicholas Leong had this reminder: “To get rid of mosquito breeding grounds, we need the people to stop littering too! Unfortunately, everyday we see examples of people who think the rest of the world is their backyard.”
EL Ali commented: “Breeding sites are more on construction sites and clogged drains. Perhaps Malaysian Health Ministry must also take action on this.”
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam today asked all Malaysians to destroy the Aedes mosquitoes.
He said the government has also stepped up screenings at major entry points, especially in Johor Baru but admits that this is not a foolproof solution.
Malaysians are also welcomed to log on to the ministry’s website to learn more about the Zika Alert.