Asian countries urge sick travelers to report Zika symptoms


AP–The Zika virus is spreading rapidly in Latin America, and Asian governments have issued advisories in a bid to contain the mosquito-borne disease, which could be linked to birth defects and can cause temporary paralysis.

A look at some of the measures announced: South Korea

South Korean officials have advised pregnant women against traveling to Central and South America and required doctors to immediately report suspected cases.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare included the Zika virus among infectious diseases monitored as potential health threats. Doctors can face fines of up to 2 million won (US$1,654) for failing to report patients infected or showing symptoms of infection.

The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also been sending text messages to people traveling in regions where Zika has spread to inform them of the disease and preventive measures. Malaysia

Health authorities have asked travelers from South and Central America who display symptoms such as fever and rashes to immediately report to health centers.

Deputy Health Director Dr. Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the move was imperative as it was not practical to conduct public health screenings at national gateways.