Man dies in Malaysia's first locally transmitted Zika case

September 3, 2016

Malaysia reported its first locally transmitted Zika case on Saturday, a 61-year-old man who has died of heart-related complications, the government said.

The patient was a resident of the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah, the Ministry of Health said, and already was in fragile health due to heart problems, and other maladies.

But the case, coming two days after authorities reported the country's first case of Zika, is likely to add to fears of a full-blown outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus in the tropical nation.

The ministry said local transmission was highly likely because the man had no recent history of travelling outside Malaysia.

Ministry Director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah told state news agency Bernama his prior health problems were the cause of death on Saturday afternoon, but that the results of a full investigation were pending.

On Thursday, Malaysia reported the first Zika case on its soil—a 58-year-old woman who is believed to have contracted it on a visit to neighbouring Singapore, where 150 cases have been confirmed.

A study published Friday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal said at least 2.6 billion people could be at risk from the virus in mosquito-ridden parts of Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Zika, which is spread mainly by the Aedes mosquito, has been detected in 67 countries and territories including hard-hit Brazil.

It causes only mild symptoms for most people such as fever and a rash, but infected pregnant women can give birth to babies with microcephaly, a deformation marked by abnormally small brains and heads.

Malaysia already has struggled in recent years to control the spread of Aedes-borne dengue fever.

It has been bracing for Zika after Singapore reported a surge in beginning a week ago.

Malaysia has stepped up screening of travellers from abroad, particularly Singapore, and fogging with mosquito-killing chemicals while urging the public to eliminate mosquito breeding sites such as stagnant water.

Explore further: Scientists say Singapore Zika is Asian, cases reach 200

Related Stories

Scientists say Singapore Zika is Asian, cases reach 200

September 3, 2016
Singapore on Saturday reported 215 cases of Zika infections as scientists in the city-state said the virus strain comes from within Asia and was not imported from Brazil.

Malaysia reports first suspected Zika case

September 1, 2016
Malaysia on Thursday reported its first suspected case of Zika, a woman believed to have contracted it in neighbouring Singapore where more than 150 infections have now been confirmed.

Singapore Zika cases surge to 82

August 30, 2016
The number of Zika cases in Singapore has surged to 82, the government said Tuesday, as the mosquito-fighting effort continued in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.

Singapore reports first locally transmitted Zika case

August 27, 2016
Singapore on Saturday reported the first locally-transmitted case of the Zika virus, with three other suspect infections pending confirmation.

Indonesia screens for Zika as Singapore infections mount

September 1, 2016
Indonesia is screening travelers from neighboring Singapore for the mosquito-borne Zika virus as the city-state reports a growing number of infections and its first case of a pregnant woman testing positive.

Singapore reports 41 locally transmitted Zika cases

August 28, 2016
Singapore on Sunday confirmed 41 locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus, which can cause deformities in unborn babies, and said more infections are likely.

Recommended for you

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments

August 16, 2018
The biggest hurdle to finding effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing is increasingly difficult – has been the inability ...

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure

August 15, 2018
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

Why do women get more migraines?

August 14, 2018
Research published today reveals a potential mechanism for migraine causation which could explain why women get more migraines than men. The study, in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, suggests that sex hormones affect ...

Study shows how MERS coronavirus evolves to infect different species

August 14, 2018
In the past 15 years, two outbreaks of severe respiratory disease were caused by coronaviruses transmitted from animals to humans. In 2003, SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) spread from civets to infect ...

Inching closer to a soft spot in isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis

August 14, 2018
Antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis is a public health threat. TB and other bacteria become resistant to antibiotics by evolving genetic changes over time, which they can do quite quickly because bacterial lifecycles are short. ...

How long is an Ebola survivor contagious? One case is causing scientists to rethink the answer.

August 14, 2018
Surviving Ebola isn't like getting over the flu.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.