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Zika virus: Health Ministry issues travel advisory


A health technician analyses a blood sample from a patient bitten by a mosquito at the National Institute of Health in Lima, Peru on Feb 2, 2016.  - Reuters

A health technician analyses a blood sample from a patient bitten by a mosquito at the National Institute of Health in Lima, Peru on Feb 2, 2016. - Reuters

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has issued a travel advisory for 26 countries and territories where cases of Zika virus infections have been reported.

They are Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana and Haiti.

Malaysians are also advised to avoid travelling to Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Marti, Suriname, US Virgin Islands and Venezuela.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said that although the World Health Organisation had not issued any travel restrictions, health authorities felt that it was necessary to advice the public to postpone travel to the countries on the list, if it could be avoided.

“If travelling cannot be avoided, the public should ensure they bring mosquito repellents and wear clothes that cover their body, including the arms and legs, to prevent getting bitten by mosquito,” he said on Wednesday.

Dr Subramaniam stressed that the travel advisory was only meant for the 26 countries and territories with reported cases and Malaysians were free to travel to countries that were not on the list.

The minister added that to date, there were no reported cases of Zika virus in the country and that his ministry had taken necessary precautionary measures.

   

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