New Zika cases in Philippines, Malaysia

The Philippines and Malaysia yesterday reported new cases of Zika, with two more people infected in each country.

The infections in the Philippines occurred in the central city of Iloilo, 600km south of the capital Manila. Health Minister Paulyn Ubial said the mosquito-borne virus was found in two people living in the same house as a 45-year-old woman who tested positive for Zika on Sept 5.

The woman, who is married but not pregnant, was the first confirmed case of locally transmitted Zika in the Philippines this year. The latest cases are also believed to have been locally transmitted.

The Philippines has reported four other cases since January, but these involved an American and three Korean travellers. The cases were considered travel-related rather than locally transmitted.

The two new cases in Iloilo bring the total number of Zika infections reported in the country since 2012 to eight.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Minister of Health Subramaniam Sathasivam said in a statement yesterday that the country has two new confirmed cases of Zika infection. The infected patients were siblings, and were the fifth and sixth confirmed cases of Zika in Malaysia.

The fifth case involved a woman aged 35 who is two months pregnant and living in Miri, Sarawak. She used to work in Singapore and last visited Singapore between July 24 and July 29. She had gone to a private clinic on Sept 6 because of prolonged fever, flu and a sore throat.

The patient was admitted to a hospital in Miri on Sunday for examination and further investigation after testing positive for Zika.

The other new Malaysian case involves the sister of the fifth patient. She is 39 and resides in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia reported three confirmed cases earlier this month, including a 27-year-old pregnant woman in Johor Baru. The others were in Klang, Selangor, and in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

• Additional reporting by Raul Dancel

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2016, with the headline 'New Zika cases in Philippines, Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe