Malaysia confirms first Zika case in pregnant woman

| Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 15:17
First Published |
Malaysia, Zika virus, pregnant woman, S Subramaniam, Aedes mosquitoes, patient, Johor Baru, Singapore

Since a sudden outbreak of Zika in Singapore, Malaysian health authorities have been on high alert

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's health ministry on Wednesday said they have detected a new case of Zika virus in a pregnant woman living in Johor Baru, which borders Singapore.

The patient, a 27-year-old woman who is three to four months into pregnancy, began to show symptoms of rashes and fever on September 2, said Health Minister S Subramaniam at a press conference, adding she tested positive to Zika infection on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

She was being treated in the hospital currently, said the minister.

(Also Read: US Senate blocks $1.1 billion plan to fight Zika virus for third time)

How the patient was infected is being investigated by health authorities, but her husband commutes daily to work in Singapore, said the minister, adding the test results on the husband were yet to come out.

Subramaniam suggested people who have infected spouses to avoid sex or postpone pregnancy for at least six months.

He also noted that if the lives of infected pregnant women are threatened, they can have abortion, but he said doctors should take decision in a "case by case" manner.

Since a sudden outbreak of Zika in Singapore, Malaysian health authorities have been on high alert, worrying about apathy among many Malaysian people towards Aedes mosquitoes, the major transmitter of the virus as well as dengue.

There is no vaccine or specific medication to treat the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects.

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