All suspected Zika cases test negative

National 2 minutes, 14 seconds


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday confirmed that all suspected Zika cases in the sultanate has been tested negative.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, a public health officer said that a handful of individuals had been screened and tested by the ministry’s lab in Sumbiling. However, the officer did not disclose any numbers.

He stressed that those who show signs of Zika symptoms should immediately notify and seek medical help.

“If you feel like you have symptoms of Zika, go to your nearest clinic and we will take samples of urine and blood to be sent to our lab in Sumbiling for further testing,” said the official.

He said individuals who have recently visited affected countries and subsequently develop symptoms such as fever, rash, conjunctivitis, headaches and muscle aches within two weeks of entry into Brunei should be assessed at the nearest health facility.

He added that the health ministry is currently monitoring the mosquito population in urban areas.

The health official stressed the importance of cleaning all drains and gutter and to keep grass short and weed free, and to keep their respective compound clean, as this will be able to keep homes mosquito-free.

“Different areas have different index, people basically should know that mosquitoes are everywhere in Brunei. So they have to have precaution to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes,” he said.

Members of the public interviewed by The Brunei Times, have also

Meanwhile, members of the public interviewed by The Brunei Times said that they practice precautionary measures to safeguard their family members against Zika.

Alexander Rex , a worker at The Society for the Management of Autism Related Issues in Training, Education and Resources’s (SMARTER) said he cancelled his holiday plans to Kuala Lumpur due to the threat of Zika virus.

“Initially my family and I were planning to go for a holiday this December but we have decided that it’s better to stay in Brunei and steer from Zika. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

He also suggested the health ministry to fog outdoor areas where families usually gather for picnics such as the Berakas Forest Reserve Recreational Park.

“We recently went to the recreational park and there was a lot of mosquitoes around,” he said.

Shameem Fatimah, a teacher at Engageminds Learning Centre lauded MoH’s efforts to prevent Zika virus. She said it takes a holistic approach and not just the responsibility of MoH.

“I believe MoH is doing a good job in keeping everyone aware. It’s a community responsibility,” she said.

As Zika virus prevention, Shameem said she ensures her home surroundings are clean.

The Brunei Times