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Monday, May 16, 2016

Malaysia in contact with Singapore on Zika situation

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Health Ministry said yesterday that it has been in contact with its Singapore counterpart to exchange information on the Zika virus, and that Malaysia is free of the virus so far.

"The Singapore Health Ministry has confirmed a case involving a permanent resident who was infected with the Zika virus after visiting Brazil, and that the patient has never visited Malaysia," the Health Ministry's director-general, Datuk Noor Hisham Abdullah, said in a statement, as quoted by the Bernama news agency.

Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia has taken preventive steps against the virus including enhancing its monitoring at several immigration checkpoints.

Without early prevention, Malaysia is also at risk if its people visit the affected nations, he said.

He said 472 blood samples of people had been tested by Malaysia's National Public Health Laboratory and the Institute of Medical Research, with the virus not detected in the country as of last Thursday, Bernama reported.

Dr Noor Hisham was commenting on Singapore's first confirmed Zika case, which was announced last Friday.

According to the latest information released by the World Health Organisation, 58 countries were affected by the virus from January 2014 until May 11, the Malaysian news agency said.

China yesterday confirmed Beijing's first imported case of Zika virus infection, the Xinhua news agency reported. The patient, a 29-year-old woman from eastern Shandong province, had returned from Venezuela last Friday, said Beijing's health and family planning commission.

Meanwhile, the Johor Baru Health Department has been asked to increase surveillance at immigration entry points as a precautionary measure following the Zika virus case reported in Singapore.

Malaysia's Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya said that, as a preventive measure, cooperation had also been stepped up with the Indonesian and Thai authorities to share information about the spread of the virus, Bernama reported.

More .................

Beijing reports first imported Zika case in woman who visited Venezuela as Guangdong confirms 12th patient

BEIJING (Xinhua) - Beijing authorities said on Sunday (May 15) the city has its first imported case of Zika, while the southern province of Guangdong reported its 12th case of imported infection.

The Beijing patient, a 29-year-old female from eastern Shandong province, developed a skin rash and a fever in Venezuela on May 11 local time and returned to China on May 13 Beijing time, the capital's health and family planning commission said in a statement.

She was tested positive for the virus on Sunday and is currently receiving treatment in hospital.

But experts from the commission said further spreading of the disease in Beijing is relatively low.

In Guangdong, the provincial health and family planning commission said on Sunday a 37-year-old male, a Chinese citizen living in Venezuela, developed a skin rash and a fever after returning to Enping City on April 28 and tested positive for the virus on Saturday.

The man is currently isolated in hospital and receiving treatment, the authorities said.

The World Health Organisation in February declared a global emergency amid a Zika outbreak in Central and South America. China has also been on alert as the warming weather may facilitate the spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

Symptoms of Zika include fever, joint pain, rash, conjunctivitis, headache and muscle pain.

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