Govt urges tests for pregnant women with
SINGAPORE urged all pregnant women showing symptoms of fever or rashes to have themselves tested for the Zika virus after the number of cases soared to 82.
The United States and Britain joined Australia and Taiwan in advising pregnant women to avoid nonessential travel to the city-state.
Environment agency workers stepped up efforts to eradicate mosquitoes that spread the disease, expanding a fumigation campaign centred on the “ground zero” of the outbreak, the suburb of Aljunied.
As infections climbed, they blasted a district of warehouses and industrial buildings to destroy breeding sites that fuelled the outbreak, which began at a construction site housing foreign workers.
Zika, which has been detected in 58 countries including hardest-hit Brazil, causes only mild symptoms for most people.
But in pregnant women, it can cause microcephaly, a deformation in which babies are born with abnormally small brains and heads.
The health ministry said that “all pregnant women with symptoms of Zika – fever and rash, red eyes or joint pain” should be tested for infection.
Pregnant women with male partners who have been tested positive were also told to visit their doctors.
Since Singapore reported its first locally transmitted Zika infection on August 27, confirmed cases have climbed quickly as authorities ramped up testing, with 82 infections detected by August 30.
The city-state has waged war on mosquitoes in response, with teams of inspectors visiting homes to check for breeding sites while pest controllers have saturated housing estates with insecticide.
It has a chronic problem with dengue fever, which is spread by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the Zika virus. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water that collects in construction sites, open space and homes.
In response to the outbreak, neighbouring countries such as Malaysia,
An inspector from the Singapore National Environment Agency checks for mosquito district yesterday. At least 82 Zika cases have been confirmed in Singapore.