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Zika mosquito (Source : Wikipedia).

NEA and MOH announces 15 new cases of Zika-infection, making 56 confirmed cases in total

National Environment Agency (NEA) and Ministry of Health (MOH) have announced in a joint statement that 15 new cases of zika of locally transmitted Zika virus infection in Singapore have been confirmed as of 29 August at 12 pm.

This means that the total number of identified persons to be locally infected has reached 56. Though the authority has warned that the look-back exercise will likely uncover more previously undiagnosed cases of Zika.

Two out of 15 cases are workers of a construction site at 60 Sims Drive and have recovered. While another 13 cases live or work in the broader Sims Drive/ Aljunied Crescent area.

MOH has looked back and tested potentially infected persons and revealed that the two cases at the Sims Drive construction site were infected by Zika virus. MOH had completed testing of all workers at the construction site who had symptoms of fever and rash previously and it also screened workers staying at the dormitories located in the areas of concern.

MOH stated that will continue to work with General Practitioners (GP) in the area to offer testing for patients who had fever and rash previously.

NEA stated that it had inspected about 3,600 premises out of an estimated 6,000 premises in the Sims Drive cluster to check for mosquito breeding, and also conducted ground checks in the vicinity on 28 August. 36 breeding habitats, comprising 22 in homes and 14 in common areas/other premises, have been detected and destroyed. Thermal fogging, misting and indoor spraying of insecticides have been carried out at the inspected premises.

To spread the awareness among members of publics, NEA officers and grassroots volunteers have completed the first round of outreach efforts in the Sims Drive cluster. They distributed Zika information leaflets, and will be continuing with outreach to reiterate the need for source reduction to prevent mosquito breeding, and advise residents to apply repellent as precaution.

NEA has also commenced vector control operations in areas of concern, where cases from the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive cluster work or live.

Currently, there is no evidence of local transmission in these areas of concern. It had commenced inspections at the dormitories/residences at Kranji Road, Senoko South Road, Lor 101 Changi, Toh Guan Road East and Joo Chiat Place.

It had detected and destroyed one breeding site at the dormitory at Kranji. NEA has also inspected more than 900 premises at Sembawang Drive, and detected and destroyed one breeding site in a residence in that area.

The first patient who was diagnosed with the infection is a 47-year-old female Malaysian residing at Block 102 Aljunied Crescent. She developed fever, rash and conjunctivitis from 25 August. She visited a GP on Friday (26 August) and was referred to the CDC, where she was tested positive for Zika on last Saturday (27 August).