Saturday, September 17, 2016

Brunei - Brunei travellers advised to protect themselves from Zika

THE Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday advised Bruneians who are planning to travel abroad, especially to Zika affected areas, to take personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites during their trip.

The MoH issued the advice as the school holidays have just begun and families across the country are taking the opportunity to travel with their children, families and friends.

“However, some people are understandably concerned about the Zika virus situation in affected countries and may be rethinking travel plans,” MoH said in its latest statement on the Zika situation.

“Remember, pregnant mothers are advised to postpone any non-essential travel to Zika affected countries.”

According to the MoH, the personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites during the trips include wearing long sleeves and light coloured clothing, applying insect-repellent regularly, and sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with air conditioning or screens.

“In the event that you or any of your family member become unwell, especially after returning from your trip, seek medical attention. It is also very important to note that at all times you must avoid mosquito bites before and after your trip to avoid further spread of the Zika virus. If your partner is pregnant and you have recently travelled to a Zika affected country, abstain from sex or adopt safer sexual practices for the subsequent duration of the pregnancy.”

The MoH said, “Although there are no reports of Zika virus in Brunei Darussalam, as a country we need to work together. Every person must play their part to prevent and control this disease, even those who are planning to travel abroad.

“Before leaving the country, spend some time to ensure that your house is clean and free from mosquito breeding sites especially if you and your family will be away from home for a while. Environmental cleanliness is the key and we can prevent mosquito breeding sites by emptying, cleaning or covering containers that can hold even small amounts of water, such as plastic containers, buckets, flower pots and tyres.

“A clean home free from mosquito breeding sites is one key aspect to keep us free from Zika.

“The Zika virus currently has no treatment or vaccine and preventive measures are the best course of action to be taken to protect you and your family from becoming infected.

“Such measures are even more important for pregnant mothers or couples planning to have children as the virus can affect the unborn child.

“Arm yourself with information on the Zika virus available on the Ministry of Health Website or you can contact Darussalam line 123. Clean up, Cover up and together we can prevent and control the Zika virus,” the MoH said.

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