Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials check for Zika




Officials check for Zika

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Health officials collect mosquito larvae from a water container in Phnom Penh during a monitoring programme for the Zika virus. Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP

Officials check for Zika

After researchers at the Pasteur Institute last year forecasted a high risk for Zika outbreaks this year, the Kingdom has not recorded any Zika cases so far, though the country isn’t fully in the clear yet, the institute said yesterday.

The Pasteur Institute and the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor, record and test “Zika-like” cases through early next year, Dr Didier Fontenille, director of the Pasteur Institute, said.

“Fortunately, despite a long 2017 rainy season, the outbreak did not [reach] Cambodia yet,” he wrote in an email yesterday. “At the world level Zika outbreak is decreasing, but it is not finished, and for me, Asia, as well as [the] Pacific, Africa and Americas, where the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti is present, will remain at ‘risk’ for decades.”

The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which can also transmit dengue, and has been particularly prevalent in Cambodia in 2017 due to a recurring natural spike in its cyclical breeding patterns.

Ly Sovann, spokesman for the Ministry of Health and director of the ministry’s Department of Communicable Diseases, said the ministry is taking measures to identify potential Zika cases early.

“We would like to respond within 24 hours” if there is an outbreak, he said. “We are worried that if the disease spread, it would be difficult to control.”

More than 2,000 rapid-response staff have been trained, and the ministry is working to improve its outbreak response plan for a worst-case scenario in the event their rapid response “failed”, he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European