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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

'Only 1-5 percent chance of birth defects from Zika-infected pregnancies'

Not all pregnant women infected with the Zika virus will pass it on to their babies, which will lead to birth defects if it happens.

Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam said this when asked for medical opinion on whether mothers who contract Zika should abort their babies or otherwise.

“The percentage is between one to five percent only. That means, there is a 95 percent possibility that a (Zika-related) pregnancy will be okay,” he told a press conference after launching the 11th Allied Health Scientific Conference Malaysia 2016 in Kuala Lumpur today.

This, added Subramaniam, was one of the factors that needed to be taken into account before the Health Ministry gives a general advice on the matter.

“That's why our advice is to follow the advice of a doctor.

“Because if a mother is found positive of Zika, doctors will conduct all kinds of tests (and) they will be able to say whether anything has gone wrong or not,” Subramaniam said.

Obstetrics and gynaecology specialists, he added, have already been briefed on the things that needed to be done when a potential Zika patient sees them.

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