The Health Ministry is providing leaflets on the Zika virus at international airport entry points to spread awareness on the danger of the virus.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, said public cooperation was vital and they needed to be aware of the risks of the virus when entering the country.

"We cannot screen passengers of all aircraft coming into this country as there are no direct flights from the 24 countries which have been hit by the virus.

"This is a big challenge for the ministry because those infected with the virus may enter Malaysia through various countries," he told reporters after presenting contributions to patients at the Segamat Hospital today.

He said the government viewed the matter seriously and would take all measures to prevent the Zika virus from entering the country.

Dr Subramaniam said the country would face serious threat if the Zika virus were to enter Malaysia because the high number of dengue cases in the country would accelerate the spread of the virus.

He urged the public to postpone travel to the 24 countries listed by the ministry.

"Malaysians who recently returned from countries with active Zika virus transmission should immediately report to the nearest hospital to prevent its spread," he said.

The ministry had earlier issued a guideline to the public to restrict Zika virus entry into the country, including discouraging people from travelling abroad, especially to South America.

The affected countries are Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Surinam, Virgin Islands (US) and Venezuela. – Bernama, February 6, 2016.

-The Malaysian Insider-

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