PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A man from Sabah who tested positive for Zika has died from heart-related complications.
Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah confirmed that the 61-year-old from Taman Public Jaya in Likas died on Saturday afternoon (Sept 3) from heart-related complications, not the virus.
"He was scheduled for heart surgery next month. The death is not due to Zika," said Dr Noor Hisham in a short WhatsApp message.
He stressed that Zika only "causes mild symptoms and signs, not death".
The Ministry said earlier on Saturday that the man was believed to be the first locally-transmitted Zika infection in the country.
"The Health Ministry is investigating further the patient's recent travel history. It was found that this Zika infection is most likely from a local source of infection, as the patient does not have any recent travel history abroad, and was probably been bitten by an Aedes mosquito infected with Zika," said the statement.
The patient developed a fever on Aug 27 and had sought medical attention at the Luyang Health Clinic on Aug 30.
He sought further treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2 the next day when he experienced worsening fever, muscle aches and diarrhoea.
Dr Noor Hisham said that the patient's blood and urine samples had tested positive for Zika, but his serious clinical condition could have been due to existing health afflictions and not the Zika virus.