The Health Ministry has identified two types of Zika virus strains in Malaysia.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the strain from the first Zika infection case in Taman Botani in Klang, was the same as the one found in Brazil.
As for the second case in Likas, Sabah, the strain was a local type.
“The virus strain in the first case in Klang might have been ‘imported’ from Singapore and is what we call a ‘French Polynesia’ virus, which is a virus from outside, not from here.
“But in the second case in Likas, the virus is the same as the one we’ve identified in the country before. This is what we call a ‘Micronesia’ virus.
“This goes to show that there are two types of virus strains lurking among us,” he told a special media conference on Zika here today.
When asked on the risks carried by the local strain, Dr Subramaniam said it was presumed to be the same as the strain found in Brazil.
“Although we’ve had cases of Zika reported in Malaysia previously, we didn’t have a chance to fully identify the sort of complications it can pose to humans because the number of cases were too low.
“Nevertheless, it is better for us to assume that the risks are the same. At least that way, we will take preventive measures,” he said.
As of today, the total number of Zika virus infections in the country remain at six cases.
Dr Subramaniam added that the ministry has conducted checks on 79 suspected cases of Zika virus since Sept 1 and all turned out to be negative.