Thirty-one new cases of Zika have been confirmed in Singapore, raising to 151 the number of persons infected by the mosquito-borne virus in the Southeast Asian city-state, the government said on Friday.
A woman in Klang, Selangor, tested positive for the disease a week after her return from Singapore on Aug 21, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
State Health and Environment Committee Chairman Ayub Rahmat said these measures were necessary in view of the sharp increase in Zika infections in the republic, while Johor was frequented by Singaporeans.
Zika causes only mild symptoms for most people. Brazil has reported the largest number of cases, with more than 1 million infections in 2015.
“We will nearly certainly see more imported cases of Zika in our county”, he said, But, “since we do not have the mosquito vector in our (area) at this time, it is not likely that we will see cases that were acquired in our county”.
The ministry has started control activities such as eliminating mosquito breeding sites and fog spraying in her residential area and other places that the patient had visited.
Anyone who is pregnant is advised not to travel to any Zika-infected area because the mother and child transmission rate of this virus is very high.
World Health Organization also noted Brazil has not reported any confirmed cases of Zika following the Olympics, boding well for a “low risk assessment” at the Paralympics.
The Zika-carrying mosquitoes were trapped in a touristy 1.5 square-mile area of Miami Beach that had been identified as an active zone of active transmission of the virus, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a news release.
The woman was referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital and a urine test confirmed she was infected with the Zika virus, he said.
China is trade-dependent Singapore’s top overseas market, and the Zika outbreak coincides with a dip in overall exports and slowing economic growth in both countries.
Indonesian Health Ministry spokesman Oscar Primadi said Thursday that health officials are recommending that the Foreign Ministry issue an advisory against nonessential travel to Singapore, particularly for pregnant women.
She said all required steps, including installation of thermal scanners at worldwide airports, have been taken to detect incoming Zika-inflicted passengers.
Local media said a nine-year-old girl died of it recently in the north part of Thailand, raising the death toll to three. The Zika virus infection can cause serious pregnancy complications, such as microcephaly.