Malaysia going all out against the Zika virus

KOTA KINABALU - Health enforcement officials are using a court order to force their way into "inaccessible premises" at Taman Public Jaya Apartment in Likas to fog and look for mosquito breeding grounds.

The apartment is where a 61-year-old Malaysian contracted the Zika virus and died on Sept 3 due to heart complications. He was the first case of locally transmitted Zika virus in the country.

City Hall director-general Joannes Solidau said the ongoing operation to force entry into 51 inaccessible premises started on Saturday.

"Our men fumigate the premises and also carry out checks for mosquito breeding areas within the apartment units," he said.

He also said the 10 people who were in direct contact with the first Zika victim have been cleared of the infection.

Solidau said they expect to continue operations to completely check a total 51 units in the next few days.

"We hope owners or occupants would co-operate with us," he added.

Solidau also said health authorities have been carrying out fumigation work, checks and public education on the 775 apartments and houses within 400m of the Public Jaya apartment.

So far there have been no official reports of any new Zika cases in the state.

In Johor Baru, State Health and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat advised home owners and offices to make sure there were no mosquito breeding spots in their premises.

He also advised the public to use larvicide in water tanks.

"Water containers must be emptied and covered as they could potentially become breeding grounds," he said in a statement.

Ayub also encouraged people to use insect repellent or spray insecticide before leaving their homes.

He also advised visitors from Singapore to spray their vehicles with insecticide to prevent mosquitoes from travelling between the two countries.

In Johor, the husband of a pregnant woman with Zika had been confirmed as the fourth patient to be infected by the disease.

The 25-year-old patient, who was tested positive for Zika, has been warded at the Government hospital in Johor Baru.

The Health Ministry had said in a statement recently that the man, who resides in Johor Baru with his wife, had travelled to Singapore daily for work.

"The patient has no other close contacts in Malaysia other than his mother-in-law and wife," said ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The man's 27-year-old wife became the first pregnant woman in the country to test positive for Zika.