Thursday, 1 September 2016

Zika Virus : People are adviced not to travel to Singapore unnecessarily unless its for work/urgent matters


Datuk Seri Dr. S.Subramaniam has just released a press statement based on the update by Singapore Ministry of Health regarding 41 confirmed cases of Zika Virus in patients from Singapore.

Since an estimated 200000 travel daily to & fro Singapore daily from Malaysia, DSDSS has advised Malaysians especially citizens of Johor to beware of transmission of virus from human to human contact. Zika Virus is transmitted by the notorious Aedes Aegypti mosquito which is very well known in Malaysia for causing the serious & fatal Dengue Fever (DF) & Dengue Hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Besides Dengue & Zika, Aedes mosquito can also cause Chikungunya fever another disease found in Malaysia.

Beware of Zika Virus as it is a very well known Virus worldwide. It's becoming a pandemic with cases from Brazil which just recently hosted The Rio Olympic Games, USA & the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, UAE, Qatar).

Beware as 80% of cases present asymptomatic (no symptoms at all). only 20% present with symptoms similar to Dengue which are high-grade fever, joint pain, muscle pain, fine erythematous rashes on body retroorbital eye pain or red eye (conjuctivitis). Please admit yourself to a nearby governed clinic or hospital to get a blood test done immediately if you present with any of these symptoms.

The differentiating factor between Dengue & Zika is Dengue is zoonotic (mosquito to human only) but Zika is zoonotic plus Human to Human transmission. Zika can spread through unprotected sexual intercourse. Please reduce sexual activity during this period or use contraceptive methods such as Condom, Diaphragm & IUCD. Besides that Zika can cause serious complications in pregnancy if a pregnant woman in her 1st 2nd or 3rd trimester is carrying her baby (vertical transmission). Complications known are microcephaly (baby born with small head) & progressive ascending muscular paralysis presenting similar to Guillain Barre Syndrome & other neurodevelopmental disorder in the fetus.

People are adviced not to travel to Singapore unnecessarily unless its for work/urgent matters. Even though Zika is increasing in incidence, DSDSS advice to be more cautious of the prevalent Dengue Fever which is more serious and can kill patients. Zika is less fatal but causes a lot of complications which increases morbidity in this country. Other advice given, Cut of any travelling plans to Singapore, USA, middle east & Brazil. Similar to dengue prevention activities; prevent stagnant water accumulating in an enclosed spaces. State Health Department of Johor will carry out fogging activities. State Health Department of Johor will fine those whose housing compunds are found to rear mosquito breeding sites. Stay at home especially those in Johor Baru during early morning and late evenings (period of high activities of Aedes mosquito). Wear long sleeve clothing covering ankles and wrists. Eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Apply Mosquito netting at night & prevent entry of mosquito into homes. Biological elimination includes use of larvicides (abate or pyriproxyfen) and guppy fish (known to kill Aedes mosquito). Beware of Zika it's a world wide health pandemic.

Please pass this message around to your loved ones.