Second pregnant woman tests positive for Zika in Malaysia

Malaysia's Health Minister Dr Subramaniam Sathasivam shows a Zika awareness campaign poster during a press conference in Putrajaya on Sept 14, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two sisters, one of whom is two months pregnant, are the latest Zika victims in Malaysia.

The Malaysian Health Ministry, in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 13), confirmed reports of a fifth and sixth Zika case in the country.

The fifth victim, a 35-year-old woman who is two months pregnant, had gone to a private clinic on Sept 6 after complaining of prolonged fever, flu and sore throat, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said.

"A test conducted by a private lab in Kuala Lumpur showed that the patient tested positive for Zika. She was admitted to the Miri Hospital on Sept 11 for further tests," he said in the statement.

Dr Subramaniam said the patient had previously worked in Singapore and last visited the island from July 24 to 29.

The sixth victim, a 39-year-old woman who lives in Kuala Lumpur, is the sister to the pregnant woman.

"She is a sister to the fifth case. She is a 39-year-old woman who lives in Setapak and was admitted to a hospital in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 11. The patient began developing rashes on Sept 6," Dr Subramaniam said.

The statement said that both women had come into recent contact with each other. The Kuala Lumpur sibling had visited her sister in Miri on Aug 26 and returned to Kuala Lumpur on Sept 6.

Dr Subramaniam said that vector control activities continued to be carried out in the residential areas of the six people who had so far tested positive for the virus.

The first case in Malaysia was a 58-year-old woman from Klang, Selangor, who had returned from Singapore.

A man in Sabah, who had caught the disease locally, became the second case.

The third was a pregnant woman in Johor Baru and the fourth, her husband who works in Singapore.

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