Govt urges tests for preg­nant women with

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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,

Photo:

An in­spec­tor from the Sin­ga­pore Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Agency checks for mos­quito district yes­ter­day. At least 82 Zika cases have been con­firmed in Sin­ga­pore.

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