Zika Statement Retracted After False-Positive Result

The Ministry of Health on Friday released a statement saying a Cambodian man was diagnosed with the Zika virus, only to retract the statement within hours.

An initial joint statement issued by the Health Ministry and World Health Organization on Friday afternoon said test results from the Pasteur Institute had confirmed that a 44-year-old man from Kompong Cham province was infected with the mosquito-transmitted virus, but had since recovered.

In the evening, Or Vandine, director-general for health at the Ministry of Health, sent an email to news outlets saying that after double-checking using a sequencing method, it was found that the man was not infected with the virus.

“Negative result came out at 7 pm today,” Dr. Vandine said. Earlier this year, the Pasteur Institute posted a regional analysis of the mosquito-transmitted virus to its website, saying the risk of an outbreak in Cambodia next year “appears high.”

The country has not reported a new Zika case since 2010.

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