MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Health Ministry: Not practical to conduct screenings for Zika

To prevent the Zika virus from spreading in the country, tourists from South America and Central America, as well as Malaysians returning from there should report to the health quarantine centre or health office upon arrival.
Health deputy director (public health) Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the move was imperative as it was not practical to conduct public health screenings at national gateways.
"The virus is difficult to detect and there is no quick point-of-care test which can be used," he said in a statement in Putrajaya today.
So far, 22 countries have reported Zika cases.
They are Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela and Samoa.
The virus causes the infected person to suffer slight fever and rashes on the body, as well as aches, and does not result in death.
However, it is related to the incidence of microcephaly in children, which causes brain damage.
Lokman Hakim said pregnant women had also been advised not to visit the affected countries.
"Malaysians who travel to these countries must take precautionary measures such as not being outdoors during the peak hours when the vector, the Aedes mosquito, is active during early morning and late evening.
"They should use clothes which cover the body, and apply repellents," he said, adding that the health ministry would issue a health alert to all government and private health facilities.
He said surveillance in clinics and hospitals would be increased for cases with signs of the Zika virus, and on patients with travel history to the 22 countries.
He said Malaysians, in general, did not have immunity to the disease as it was still not found in the country.
He said there was no known vaccine or medication to kill the Zika virus and infected persons would become the carrier of the virus.
- Bernama

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