Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on August 28 that 41 people in the Aljunied Crescent-Sims Drive area tested positive for the Zika virus.
From 1 to 41
This came after news broke yesterday (August 27) that a 47-year-old female was the first locally transmitted case of the virus. MOH conducted screening in suspected areas when the 47-year-old female living in Aljunied Crescent was first referred to the Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital on August 26. The results of the screening only came back on August 27.
According to MOH, out of the 41 confirmed cases, 36 are foreign workers, four are Singaporeans, and one is Malaysian. The foreign workers are working at a construction site situated at 60 Sims Drive.
Other than Sims Drive and Aljunied Crescent, MOH also identified several other areas of possible virus transmission. These are:
-Joo Chiat Place
-Senoko South Road
-Toh Guan Road East
-Lorong 101 Changi.
A Silent Virus
The sudden increase in confirmed cases serves to highlight the fact that the Zika virus is a silent attacker. While it may present symptoms such as fever, skin rashes, body aches, and headache, most cases do not display symptoms. For most people, Zika is generally mild and can resolve on its own. However, the danger is higher for pregnant women as the virus can cause microcephaly in unborn foetuses.
One way of reducing the spread of Zika is to control the mosquito population. The National Environment Agency (NEA) has ramped up vector control in the affected areas. If you live in the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive areas, you might have seen NEA officers fogging outdoor areas and handing out insect repellants to the public.
If you suspect that there may be mosquito breeding areas in your community, you are encouraged to report it via the OneService App. Containing an outbreak has to be a community effort, the MOH and NEA would not have enough manpower to comb the entire Singapore looking for mosquito breeding areas.
Readers are also advised to monitor your health and to seek medical attention if you display symptoms such as fever and rash. If you think you have been infected, please consult a doctor.
The latest Zika advisories can be found on MOH's webpage on Zika at www.moh.gov.sg/zika.
Top photo from here.