Another Zika virus region : Singapore, a tourism hub in South East Asia

Another Zika virus region : Singapore, a tourism hub in South East Asia
Another Zika virus region : Singapore, a tourism hub in South East Asia

29 August, 2016

Singapore has confirmed 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus, local media reported on Sunday, citing the city-state's health ministry.

There have been 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infections in Singapore, with the transmisson likely to be localised within the Aljunied Crescent-Sims Drive area, say authorities.

The story Zika spreading across Singapore with more than 40 cases reported first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the statement, 34 have fully recovered, while the other seven, who still have symptoms and are potentially infectious, are now recovering at a hospital. However, the danger is higher for pregnant women as the virus can cause microcephaly in unborn foetuses.

In the United States more than 2,500 people have been diagnosed with Zika, majority infected while traveling overseas.

Amidst speculations regarding the possible spread of Zika virus at the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year, the World Health Organization confirmed on its website on Thursday that no laboratory confirmed cases of the virus have been found among the spectators, athletes or in anyone associated with the event.

In a statement, the country's health ministry said it can't rule out the possibility of "further community transmission".

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Singapore deployed around 200 NEA officers to clean drains and spray insecticide in the mainly residential area early on Sunday to counter mosquito breeding grounds, and volunteers and contractors handed out leaflets and insect repellent. Three other suspected cases had preliminarily tested positive.

The virus has been spreading across Latin American countries since the start of this year where it's linked to birth defects. And so far, these cases in Singapore might be the biggest inroads the virus has made in Asia. "This concerns me because maybe ina couple of years I want to have another (child)".

And because many Zika carriers display only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all - meaning infected people may not seek treatment - local transmission of these imported cases "is also very high", he said.

Zika isn't a new virus.

"As a mother, I am deeply concerned about this and had in fact raised this issue in Parliament earlier this year", she said.

The WHO has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults.

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