Malaysia confirms first case of Zika in pregnant woman

Cody PriceSep 08, 2016

Malaysia on Wednesday, September 7, reported its first case of a pregnant woman with Zika - a resident of a Malaysian state bordering Singapore where authorities have already recorded 275 cases.

Studies have shown that Zika infections in pregnant women cause microcephaly, a severe birth defect in which the head and brain are undersized, as well as other brain abnormalities.

Malaysia reports first pregnant Zika patient
Malaysia confirms first case of pregnant woman infected with Zika

On Saturday it reported its first suspected locally transmitted case, where the man had no recent history of overseas travel, was already in fragile health due to other conditions, and subsequently died of heart-related complications. She was later taken to the government hospital where she was tested positive for the virus.

Since the beginning of September, just three cases of Zika have been confirmed in Malaysia.

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Dr Subramaniam also said the Health Ministry will hospitalise all pregnant Zika patients for treatment by specialists and that pregnant women who show no symptoms but have partners confirmed to be infected will also be tested for the virus.

Control measures have been increased in Johor Baru, especially around the house of the patient in Taman Desa Harmoni, he said.

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Asked whether the woman would be allowed to undergo an abortion, Dr Subramaniam said: "We allow medical therapeutical abortion in cases if the life of the mother is threatened from the pregnancy".

Symptoms of Zika infection include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and vomiting.

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The World Health Organization also further strengthened its guidelines to prevent sexual transmissions of Zika virus on Tuesday, advising people both men and women returning from Zika-affected areas to practice safe sex for at least six months from the previous six to eight weeks. "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".

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