PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have been asked to help in efforts to control the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes, as it is the best way to stop the Zika virus.
In a statement on Monday night, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said he had recently noticed poor conditions at dengue hotspots nationwide.
"In my rounds at dengue hotspots, I noticed widespread throwing of rubbish, poorly collected garbage, abandoned cars and illegal rubbish dumps.
"Collection of small pools of water anywhere can contribute to the breeding of Aedes and I am deeply concerned of the potential consequences of Zika entering Malaysian shores," he said.
Speaking of efforts to intensify the control of Aedes breeding, Dr. Subramaniam said everyone had a role to play.
"We need the cooperation of everybody to achieve this via the public, local councils, state governments and health authorities.
"We are fighting a difficult battle with dengue, without having to fight yet another battle," the Health Minister said.
He added that the Zika epidemic is causing concern among Malaysians.
"We are getting newer information as the days go by. It might take some time before the gaps in the whole puzzle of Zika are completely filled.
"Recent reports have found that human to human transmission is possible, including sexual transmission and the (United States’) Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come out with guidelines on sexual behaviour, including advice on protected sex in high risk cases," he said.
Dr Subramaniam said the CDC reported of the presence of the virus in the semen of one infected patient and a strong possibility that one other case was also sexually transmitted.
"As days go by, the association between microcephaly and the Zika infection is also becoming more compelling," he said.