Malaysia: Sabah Zika patient dies from heart-related complications

SIRA HABIBU and TAN YI LIANG The Star 3 Sep 16;

PETALING JAYA: A man from Sabah who tested positive for Zika has died from heart-related complications.

Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) confirmed that the 61-year-old from Taman Public Jaya in Likas died on Saturday afternoon from heart-related complications, not the virus.

“He was scheduled for heart surgery next month. The death is not due to Zika,” said Dr Noor Hisham in a short WhatsApp message.

He stressed that Zika only “causes mild symptoms and signs, not death”.

The Ministry said earlier on Saturday that the man was believed to be the first locally-transmitted Zika infection in the country.

“The Health Ministry is investigating further the patient’s recent travel history. It was found that this Zika infection is most likely from a local source of infection, as the patient does not have any recent travel history abroad, and was probably been bitten by an Aedes mosquito infected with Zika,” said the statement.

The patient developed a fever on Aug 27 and had sought medical attention at the Luyang Health Clinic on Aug 30.

He sought further treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2 the next day when he experienced worsening fever, muscle aches and diarrhoea.

Dr Noor Hisham said that the patient’s blood and urine samples had tested positive for Zika, but his serious clinical condition could have been due to existing health afflictions and not the Zika virus.

Health Minister warns of more Zika cases
ASHLEY TANG The Star 4 Sep 16;

PETALING JAYA: New Zika cases will continue to emerge, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

"The confirmation of the second case of Zika in Kota Kinabalu suggests that the virus is already present within our communities.

"This patient has not been to any other country where large number of cases had been reported.

"This means that this person contracted the disease locally," Dr Subramaniam said on his Facebook post on Sunday.

The 61-year-old patient from Taman Public Jaya in Likas, who tested positive for Zika locally, died on Saturday afternoon from underlying heart-related complications.

Dr Subramaniam said the ministry was still oblivious to where the virus might have originated from.

He, however, said it was possible there were other infected people in the community who are potential sources of infection.

"We are in the process of tracing the movement of this last patient over the past few weeks. We will intensify vector control activities in these areas," he said.

Dr Subramanian said the Health Ministry was of the view that the patient's death was not directly related to Zika.

He said this was because the patient had other medical conditions including heart problems and chronic renal disease which were life threatening.

"Any form of viraemia in such a situation could have tilted the balance and caused his demise," he said.

Dr Subramaniam also said it was the responsibility of Malaysians to intensify the anti-aedes war as Zika was already present in the nation.

On Thursday, the ministry announced the first Zika patient diagnosed in the country, a 58-year-old woman who had visited her daughter in Singapore with her husband on Aug 19 and returned on Aug 21.

Her daughter, who works and lives in Paya Lebar, Singapore, had been infected.

The latest update from the Singapore Health Ministry showed that 11 Malay­sians were confirmed to be infected with the Zika virus - 10 of them work and live in Singapore, and one works in Singapore but resides in Johor.

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