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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 20:53 PM | 28-08-2016

S’pore reports 40 more locally transmitted Zika cases

Singapore on Sunday (Aug 28, 2016) reported 40 more cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infections, most of them foreign workers at a construction site.

The government on Saturday announced its first case, that of a 47-year-old Malaysian woman living in the city-state, according to AFP.

All 41 are residents or workers in a suburban residential and industrial district, the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency said in a joint statement.

“They are not known to have travelled to Zika-affected areas recently, and are thus likely to have been infected in Singapore,” the statement said.

“This confirms that local transmission of Zika virus infection has taken place.”

It said that at this point the community transmission of the mosquito-borne virus appears to be localised within the Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive area, which hosts high-rise residential blocs and some industries.

Thirty-six of those infected are foreign labourers working at a construction site in the area, according to the statement.

It said 34 of the total number infected have fully recovered while the other seven, who are still symptomatic and potentially infectious, remain in hospital.

The latest outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease began in Brazil in early 2015.

Singapore in May reported the first imported case of Zika virus infection -- a 48-year-old male Singapore resident who had travelled to Sao Paulo in Brazil earlier in the year.

In the United States more than 2,500 people have been diagnosed with Zika, most of them infected while travelling abroad.

Zika causes only mild symptoms for most people, such as fever and a rash.

But in pregnant women, it can cause microcephaly, a deformation in which babies are born with abnormally small brains and heads.

“We expect to identify more positive cases,” the joint statement said on Sunday.

“Given that the majority of Zika cases are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and mosquitoes in the affected areas may already have been infected, isolation of positive cases may have limited effect to managing the spread,” it added.

The focus should be on controlling the spread of the mosquitoes that carry the virus, it added.

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