The Ministry of Health would like to issue a clarification regarding the Zika virus travel advisory issued by the United States of America regarding travel to South-East Asia including Brunei Darussalam. The Zika virus surveillance program covering both government and private healthcare facilities routinely screen all suspected cases based on current WHO definitions and guidelines.

Laboratory samples are also collected for confirmatory testing. To date, no cases of Zika virus disease have been detected in Brunei Darussalam. Despite this, the Ministry of Health continues to remain vigilant and has developed the ‘Ministry of Health Preparedness Plan for the Prevention and Control of Zika Virus Disease’ to prepare for eventualities.

All national preventive activities and capacity building to prevent, detect and control disease are overseen by the Multisectoral Task Force for the Prevention and Control of Zika Virus Disease comprising relevant government agencies. Members of the public are advised not to panic in response to the travel advisory from the United States. They are also advised to practice an effective preventive measure by eradicating mosquito breeding sites. In this regard, pregnant women are advised to avoid non-essential travel to Zika-affected areas. The Ministry of Health and its relevant partner agencies will continue to monitor evolving events in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), and our counterparts within ASEAN.

Source: Radio Television Brunei