Singapore reports Asian Zika strain
SINGAPORE reported 215 cases of Zika infections as scientists in the city-state said the virus strain comes from within Asia and was not imported from Brazil.
The Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency said in a joint statement that of the 26 new cases reported, 24 were linked to a cluster in the Aljunied district where the country’s first locally transmitted cases were reported.
The statement did not say where the other two cases were from.
A week after Singapore reported its first case of locally transmitted Zika infection, local scientists say they have completed genetic sequencing of the virus.
“The analysis found that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in Southeast Asia. The virus from these two patients was not imported from South America,” the statement said.
The Aedes aegypti mosquitoborne Zika, which has been detected in 67 countries and territories including hard-hit Brazil, causes only mild symptoms for most people such as fever and a rash. –