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First case of Zika virus infection confirmed in Malaysia

Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam confirmed at a press conference on Thursday (1 September) that a woman living in Malaysia has been tested positive for the virus following a three-day visit to neighbouring Singapore on 19 August, making it the first confirmed case of Zika-infection for Malaysia.

The 58-year-old woman is a financial consultant working in Kelana Jaya, Selangor. She visited Singapore with his husband by bus on 19 August. She stayed there for three days.

The Health Minister said that the 58-year-old woman had shown signs of a rash and fever on 28 August and sought medical treatment. The virus was discovered in her urine sample on 31 August. The woman is recovering in Sungai Buloh Hospital and should be discharged in a day or two.

Datuk Seri Subramaniam stated that the patient's daughter, who lives in Paya Lebar in Singapore, had also been infected with the virus and she had not returned to Malaysia. She is among five Malaysians working in Singapore who are infected.

He said they have already intensified vector control activities in Taman Botani in Klang, where the infected woman’s home is located.

Datuk Seri Subramaniam said, "We are carrying out control measures against Aedes mosquitoes near the woman’s home to prevent the spread of the virus. We've increased fogging in her neighbourhood, covering a 400-m radius around her house."

He also urged residents to allow officers dispatched to the area to enter their homes and carry out fogging and larvicidal spraying.

Vehicles, including cars, buses and lorries using the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ Complex and Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex are required to have aerosol sprays in their vehicles to prevent mosquitoes from being brought in, Datuk Seri Subramaniam said.

On 31 August, State Health and Environment Committee Chairman Ayub Rahmat stated that people who are travelling from Singapore to Johor Bahru will need to go through checks by thermal scanners, and those with a body temperature above 37 degrees Celsius may not be allowed from entering the country.