Health cards, monitoring of travellers from Zika countries

  • Nation
  • Friday, 12 Feb 2016

PETALING JAYA: Travellers from Zika-hit countries will be given a health alert card, with the Health Ministry closely screening international arrival gates to prevent the spread of the virus to Malaysia.

In a statement Friday, ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated that a “Zika Alert and Administrative Orders to Monitor and Manage the Zika Virus” guide was also distributed to all state health departments, agencies and professional bodies that represent private medical practitioners to prevent occurrences of the Zika virus.

From Jun 2015 to Feb 10 this year, 393 blood samples from patients who tested negative for dengue antigen NS1, were also tested in an ongoing lab surveillance by the National Public Health Laboratory (MKAK) and the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) to detect the Zika virus.

So far, all test results have been negative.

According to the World Health Organisation, 33 countries have reported Zika virus infections from Jan 2014 to Feb 5 this year.

At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent infections and no specific medicine to treat the Zika disease.

The public is encouraged to take preventive steps, especially by ensuring their surroundings are clean and free of Aedes breeding spots.

Each individual is advised to protect themselves from mosquito bites, via the use of long-sleeved tops, long pants, and repellent.

Those who experience any symptoms or signs of Zika infection such as a fever, body aches, rashes and conjunctivitis within a week of returning from any Zika-hit countries, should get immediate treatment at the clinic or hospital.

For further information, any questions on the Zika virus can be forwarded to the Health Ministry’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre at 03-88810700 or the nearest district health office.
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