MALAYSIA ZIKA INFECTION.jpg
Photograph: EPA/FAZRY ISMAIL

Malaysia’s Health Minister Sunday warned of an increase in Zika cases following the detection of local transmission of the virus.

A 61-year-old man from that state of Sabah in Borneo was the first confirmed Zika case that contracted locally, Health Minister S. Subramaniam said, adding that the victim died Saturday from heart complications and not as a result of his Zika infection.

“This patient has not been to any other country where a large number of cases had been reported,” the minister said on his Facebook page. “This means that this person contacted the disease locally.”

“It suggests that there are other infected people in the community who are potential sources of infection,” Subramaniam added. “We are in the process of tracing the movement of this last patient over the last few weeks.”

Subramaniam urged all Malaysians to step up efforts to clean up their surroundings in order eliminate breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes, the main source of Zika virus.

So far there are only two confirmed cases of Zika infections in Malaysia. Aside from the 61-year old man, the health ministry confirmed that a 58-year-old woman was infected with the virus after visiting her daughter in Singapore last week. 

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