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Anti-Mozzie Efforts Stepped Up In Singapore After Malaysian Contracts Zika

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SINGAPORE – While details of the republic’s first local case of Zika infection are only beginning to emerge, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has already taken steps to monitor the situation at Aljunied Crescent and prepare residents for battle.

Posters had been put up at the lift landings of Block 102, providing background information on Zika.

Another poster informed residents that fogging of the area would take place on Sunday morning.

Five NEA officers were seen in the area last night distributing leaflets and bottles of insect repellent spray.

On Saturday, a 47-year-old Malaysian woman who lives in the block was confirmed to have the Zika virus. It is the first locally transmitted case in Singapore.

MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling said she was in touch with the Ministry of Health for regular updates.

“I urge pregnant ladies to monitor your health especially carefully, as Zika can affect the development of an unborn child.

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

She noted on Facebook last night that Block 102 was not an active dengue cluster, but added that NEA would be thermal fogging the area on Sunday as a precautionary measure.

Aloysius Yeo, 33, an oil and gas project engineer living on the 12th floor of the block with his family, said two NEA officers came to his flat to do chemical-spraying, and others later came to give him a leaflet and a bottle of repellent.

He said there have been many mosquitoes in the area in the past year and, after learning about the latest Zika case, he now puts repellent on his three children and has stopped them from going to the playground downstairs.

Vidya Viswanathan, 25, who came to Singapore five months ago to pursue a master’s degree in accounting at James Cook University Singapore, said: “I’m worried my exams and assignments and everything will suffer if I get it.”

Her mother Jeyashri Krishnamurthy, 54, a chartered accountant who is visiting her from India, said : “I’m really getting worried about this Zika thing. We take every precaution – no plants, no water anywhere. I hope it (Zika) stops here.”

Also remaining vigilant are members of Team Singapore who competed at the recently concluded Rio Olympics.

Low Teo Ping, Chef de Mission for Team Singapore, said its members had returned to Singapore symptom-free and are being monitored closely. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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