Malaysia confirms first case of Zika infection; woman recently returned from Singapore

Travellers entering Johor by bus are required to go through thermal screening for the Zika virus.
Travellers entering Johor by bus are required to go through thermal screening for the Zika virus. PHOTO: ST FILE

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia on Thursday (Sept 1) confirmed its first case of Zika infection and said the female patient had recently returned from Singapore where locally transmitted cases of the virus were found. 

Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said at a press conference that the patient's daughter, who lives in Paya Lebar in Singapore, had also been infected with the virus. 

The daughter is among five Malaysians working in Singapore who are infected, according to the minister.

The woman, a 58-year-old financial consultant working in Kelana Jaya, Selangor, visited Singapore recently and a week after her return to Klang, she showed signs of  Zika infection and sought medical treatment.

Datuk Seri Subramaniam said the woman is recovering in Sungai Buloh Hospital and should be discharged in a day or two. Fogging is being carried out in the Klang area where she lives, he added.

 
 

"We've increased fogging in her neighbourhood, covering a 400m radius around her house," Dr Subramaniam said. 

The woman had travelled to Singapore by bus with her husband on Aug 19 and stayed there for three days. She had symptoms of rash on Aug 28 and her urine tested positive for Zika on Aug 31. Her husband's test results are negative so far. Their daughter is recovering in Singapore.

As for cars and buses travelling from Singapore to Malaysia, the health ministry had asked immigration authorities to start spraying mosquito repellent into the vehicles when they cross the checkpoints.

Authorities are also checking to see if the five Malaysians infected in Singapore have returned to Malaysia recently.