Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry urges calm over Zika virus

Ministry urges calm over Zika virus

Larvae of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, at a laboratory at the El Salvador Ministry of Health earlier this month. AFP
Larvae of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, at a laboratory at the El Salvador Ministry of Health earlier this month. AFP

Ministry urges calm over Zika virus

Health Ministry officials yesterday sought to reassure the public that the risk of people becoming infected with the Zika virus in Cambodia is low.

The statements were made during a media briefing organised to inform the press about the country’s Zika situation in order “to avoid any confusion”, said Dr Ly Sovann, director of the Department of Communicable Disease Control and ministry spokesman.

Brazil has been ground zero for the mosquito-borne Zika virus, where an estimated 1.5 million people may have been affected.

An increase of birth defects has also been seen in areas hit by Zika, but there’s still no clear evidence that the virus is causing the microcephaly and other neurological issues.

Since 2010, Cambodia has only had one confirmed case, Sovann said. “Travel from the [affected] areas . . . is minimal,” he added.

Last month, officials at the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control confirmed a Zika case in the country by a man travelling from Thailand.

Officials in Taiwan also raised the travel notice level for South America and six countries in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, saying Cambodia was “at risk of transmission”.

Officials at US Embassy’s Centers for Disease Control office and the WHO could not be reached for comment.

No vaccines exist for Zika, which was first detected in people in 1953, said Deng Srey, deputy director of the communicable disease department – who nonetheless urged people not to panic.

“Zika disease is not a serious disease,” Srey said, adding that it often “cures itself”.

Srey went on to recommend getting rid of areas where mosquitos may breed and taking steps to avoid being bitten.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be