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M’sian First Infacted By Locally Transmitted Zika Virus In S’pore

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SINGAPORE – A Malaysian woman is believed to be the first patient infected by
locally-transmitted Zika virus in Singapore.

The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA)
which have been informed of the Zika virus infection said as the 47-year-old had
not travelled to Zika-affected areas recently, she was likely to have been
infected in the republic.

She resides at Block 102, Aljunied Crescent and works in Singapore.

“MOH and NEA are working together to carry out vector control and testing of
residents in that area with fever and rashes, so as to reduce the risk of
further spread,” said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in a statement today.

“I encourage those who are unwell and with such symptoms to visit the doctor
for medical attention. We have also alerted our clinics in the area to look out
for suspect cases and refer them to the Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC) for
testing.”

According to MOH and NEA, the patient had developed fever, rash and
conjunctivitis from Aug 25.

She visited a general practitioner (GP) on Aug 26 and was referred to the
CDC at Tan Tock Seng Hospital where she tested positive for Zika on Aug 27.

She has since been hospitalised for observation at the CDC and is currently
well and recovering.

MOH and NEA said with the presence of Zika in the region and the volume of
travel by Singaporeans as well as tourists, it was inevitable there would be
imported cases of Zika into Singapore.

There is also risk of subsequent local transmission, as the Aedes mosquito
vector is present here.

While MOH and NEA have stepped up precautionary measures, it was expected
there might be further cases, as most infected persons might display mild or no
symptom, said the statement.

MOH is screening the patient’s close contacts, including household members
and carrying out Zika testing on others living and working in the area,
displaying symptoms of fever and rash.

At this point, three other suspect cases – two in a family who live in the
area and an individual who works in the area – had preliminarily tested positive
based on their urine samples.

They are pending further confirmation tests, said the statement.

For now, as an added precaution, all suspect cases of Zika virus infection
would be isolated while awaiting confirmation of the blood test results, said
the statement.
— BERNAMA

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