Malaysia’s Health Minister has confirmed the country’s first case of Zika virus in a pregnant woman.
At a press briefing at the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, Subramaniam Sathasivam said the woman, a 27-year-old, lives in the southern city of Johor Bahru next to Singapore.
“So today we have another case of Zika, from Johor Bahru, in Taman Desa Harmoni, is a 27-year-old Chinese female, who unfortunately is also pregnant. And now she has been tested positive,” Subramaniam said.
“She’s now under the care of doctors in the hospitals in Johor Bahru, where she will undergo the various tests which are expected to be done on a pregnant woman who is positive,” he added.
The infected pregnant woman’s husband who works in Singapore, is said to be undergoing tests after he showed symptoms of Zika.
Singapore has so far reported 275 cases of Zika virus infections.
Malaysia’s health minister says it is likely more cases would be reported in Johor Bahru.
“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,” Subramaniam said.
Malaysia last week confirmed its first imported case of Zika in a 58-year-old woman who had visited Singapore.
Infections in pregnant women have been shown to cause microcephaly, a severe birth defect which causes the head and brain of the newborn to be undersized.
Although microcephaly is typically detected during ultrasounds in the late second and early third trimester of pregnancy, these findings can be detected as early as 18-20 weeks gestation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.