Zika outbreak in Singapore
SINGAPORE reported 40 more cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infections yesterday, most of them foreign workers at a construction site.
The government had on August 27 announced its first case, that of a 47-year-old Malaysian woman residing in the city state.
All 41 are residents or workers in a suburban district, the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency said.
“They are not known to have travelled to Zika-affected areas recently, and are thus likely to have been infected in Singapore,” they said.
“This confirms that local transmission has taken place.”
The ministry said that at this point the transmission appears to be localised within the district.
It said 34 have fully recovered while the other seven, who are still symptomatic and potentially infectious, remain in hospital.
Those with Zika develop fever, a rash, joint pains and sore eyes, the
health ministry statement said.
“I encourage those who are unwell and with these symptoms to visit their doctors for medical attention,” Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said.
The Zika virus outbreak began in Brazil in early 2015 and has spread to neighbouring countries.
Singapore in May reported the first imported case of Zika virus infection – a 48-year-old male Singapore resident who had travelled to Sao Paulo in Brazil earlier in the year.
Zika is primarily spread by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito, but it can also be transmitted sexually. Until now, global health authorities have been primarily concerned with the danger Zika poses to pregnant women and their foetuses.
Four out of five people who get Zika do not show any of the common symptoms.
The World Health Organization says 53 countries around the world have reported Zika outbreaks since 2015.