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Zika spreads in Malaysia

Malaysia confirms first pregnant woman has contracted Zika.

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Zika spreads in Malaysia

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Malaysia has had its first case of locally-transmitted Zika virus. On Wednesday, Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam confirmed that a 27-year old woman, who is four months pregnant contracted the virus in the southern city of Johor Bahru near Singapore.

An estimated 200,000 people commute between the two cities each day and since Singapore already has 275 confirmed cases of the virus, its spread was expected.

Subramaniam Sathasivam said: “We have to presume that there will be more cases particularly in Johor Bahru because of the close proximity to Singapore, and there is some new cases emerging from time to time. And the only way to avoid increasing in numbers of cases is by self protection and in the control of breeding sites of Aedes mosquito.”

The Zika virus, which has spread rapidly in recent months, can be sexually transmitted or spread by mosquitos.

Zika is strongly believed to cause microcephaly and other neurological disorders in unborn babies and human carriers may exhibit little or no symptoms.

On Tuesday the World Health Organisation warned people to abstain or have protected sex for at least six months after visiting affected areas.