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No reports of Machupo virus linked to paracetamol: Ministry of Health

A paracetamol product alleged to have been contaminated with the Machupo virus was never approved to be imported or marketed in the country, said the Ministry of Health in a statement yesterday.

The ministry also added that there has been no report to date that links the Machupo virus with consumption of paracetamol.

The ministry issued the statement in response to a social media message alleging that a paracetamol product labelled P-500, manufactured by Apex Laboratories Private Limited, India can result in a Machupo virus infection. The ministry said the message had gone viral a few years ago, and is now once again in circulation.

The ministry said that no medicines from the manufacturer, including the paracetamol product, has been registered with the Brunei Darussalam Medicines Control Authority, which is a requirement before they are manufactured, imported and marketed in the country under the Medicine Order 2007.

The ministry said manufacturers or importers are required to provide documentation to the authority that supports the product’s quality, safety and efficacy before market authorisation can be granted. All registered medicines must comply with product specification requirements, including labelling to ensure important information can be referred to by consumers, added the MoH.

The ministry said paracetamol, an analgesic that can relieve mild to moderate pain and reduce fever, can be purchased at any retail store and pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription and is safe when used according to the instruction on the label.

The Machupo virus, or the Bolivian haemorrhagic fever is a virus that can cause symptoms including fever, muscle pains, bleeding gums and seizures.

Infection with Machupo virus is reported to be contracted through direct transmission via saliva, faeces and urine of infected rodents. – James Kon

Photos of the P-500 paracetamol product. PHOTO: MOH
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