MALAYSIA’S & APEC/ASEAN LEAD CONSUMERIST: ZIKA A REAL THREAT NO TWO WAYS MALAYSIAN MOH WARNED!

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‘But more importantly are we going to strictly implement international health regulations and observing the World Health Organization’s advice on the disease.

This involves implementing epidemiology surveillance, vector surveillance, birth-defect newborn surveillance, and nervous system adverse event surveillance.

And telling the truth to all Malaysians something that seems to have been lost in recent decades?’

MALAYSIA’S & APEC/ASEAN LEAD CONSUMERIST: ZIKA A REAL THREAT NO TWO WAYS MALAYSIAN MOH WARNED!

I want to congratulate Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MoH) for going public, transparent and confirming of 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus infection in the republic!

Its report indicated that of these cases, 34 have fully recovered while the other seven – who are still symptomatic and potentially infectious – are recovering at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

The report stated that all the cases were residents or workers in the Aljunied Crescent or Sims Drive area.

It was also professional of them to also clear the circumstances of the said infection by stating that the affected were not known to have traveled to Zika-affected areas recently, and thus likely to have been infected in Singapore!

Basically the report confirms that this community transmission appears to be localized within the Aljunied Crescent or Sims Drive cluster!

As of statistics, 36 are foreign workers who worked at a construction site at 60 Sims Drive!

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Interestingly, this announcement comes a day after NEA and MoH said a 47-year-old Malaysian woman living at Block 102, Aljunied Crescent is Singapore’s first reported case of locally-transmitted Zika.

Inexplicably, our northern neighbor Thailand’s Department of Disease Control chief Dr. Amnuay Gajeena on Sunday urged Thais to help control the breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

We are advised that provinces where Zika virus patients are being treated were also instructed to immediately set up emergency operations centers to contain any outbreaks.

At the same time due to its urgency even Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is roped in to re-check information and clarify the disease’s progress with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The ECDC website cited Thailand as a “red alert” country with increasing or widespread Zika virus transmission to the point of having the region’s highest number of patients within the last three months.

But what troubles me greatly across our side of the causeway is again the brain dead statement that Malaysia is being so far being spared of this outbreak?

Singapore has it, Thailand has it and someone is saying we in the center a habitat for dengue do not have it?

Perhaps, the Creator knows we are so short of funds at the MoH that he is sparing us this outbreak?

So is the golden rule now that intensified surveillance across our side of the causeway, the monitoring at the two main entry points into Johor Baru following the case of a Malaysian woman being infected by the Zika virus the answer?

What about the north?

Can we in the public interest ask how this is going to be done?

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I mean strategically, logistically, with a detailed plan of action, how?
In Malaysia, we are the “world’s capital for dengue” and we also have far too many construction sites and foreign workers living in ground conditions which includes sexual habits that are perfect ingredients for Zika transmissions nationwide!

Inexplicably, we are told precautionary measures to be taken included distributing pamphlets on the prevention of Zika infection and placing paramedics at the entry points to examine tourists showing signs of the disease.

Really? Pamphlets our secret weapon against Zika?

We just had a brilliant strategy here which I am certain world governments must now seriously implement!

WHO please do take note!

Of course we are told by the “great one” himself that Malaysian and Singaporean MoH were in close contact to tackle the situation and get the latest information on the first local infection and coordinate preventive and control measures.

But what is the strategy I ask the learned one?

But what caught my attention and increased my curiosity was that statement that stated that beginning this year, the ministry had intensified monitoring as well as taken preventive and vector control measures at all international entry points for foreign visitors and locals returning from Zika-infected nations.

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That more than two million visitors from 155 nations reported to have Zika infections have been screened at air, sea and land entry points?

Is that a fact?

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I arrived at the airport on Saturday last week and believe me there was that scanner but it was not manned by anyone!

Perhaps, the said individual went to pee or maybe hid being warned by psychic forces that the nations lead consumerist is coming through and go hide?

For the record, we are told that between June 2015 until last Friday, 784 blood samples had been tested from patients displaying signs of Zika virus infection.

However, that the results of all these tests were negative!

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Let me just advice the Malaysian MoH , the National Public Health Laboratory and the Institute of Medical Research not to get excited as I am certain based on our track record, our now lack of adequate funding available, other crisis and fatalities, that we have had with dengue, it is just a matter of time, before the Zika crisis hits!

Of course we will have our learned friend of course communicating as always through facebook on strategies, and plans of action how to address the crisis then?

And it will all work out the typical Malaysian way?

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But more importantly are we going to strictly implement international health regulations and observing the World Health Organization’s advice on the disease.

This involves implementing epidemiology surveillance, vector surveillance, birth-defect newborn surveillance, and nervous system adverse event surveillance.

And telling the truth to all Malaysians something that seems to have been lost in recent decades by certain quarters?

Finally I end with a quote from my dear friend, Dr Amar-Singh HSS who is a consultant pediatrician, who wrote in the Malay Mail August 31st the following observations in the public interest which I cite here!
“ 1. The Zika virus is spread mainly by infected Aedes mosquitoes and also by sexual transmission. Our nation is rich with Aedes mosquitoes.

2. The virus is new to us, we are not immune to it, there is no definitive drug to treat it and any vaccine will take a few years to be developed and tested.

3. Most importantly we have failed as a nation in our fight against Dengue, and the same mosquito vectors carry Zika. Dengue may kill, but if you recover you become well again.

Zika will maim and cause significant disability, especially to unborn children.

And as we are still not immune to it, large numbers have the potential to be infected.

Imagine all our children that may become disabled as a result of this virus.

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The numbers from countries struggling with the Zika virus are frightening, even to me as a medical consultant.

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Current evidence suggests that between 15-20 per cent of infected pregnant mothers will have a baby with brain damage, especially in early pregnancy.

We may want to believe that we can prevent Zika from reaching Malaysia but that is a myth.

The symptoms of Zika virus disease are very common (fever, rash, headache, red eyes, etc.) and many people infected with Zika will have mild symptoms or no symptoms.

The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.

This means getting rid of Aedes mosquitoes.

The public will demand that the Ministry of Health (MOH) take action on this, like they have for Dengue.

But Zika, like Dengue will not be controlled by the MOH alone, but only with the involvement of the people of this country, every person.”

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