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8 new cases of locally Zika transmitted virus infection

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) announced that as of 12 pm on 7 September, another eight cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection has been confirmed, making a total of 263 confirmed cases.

Two of the cases were linked to the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive/ Kallang Way/ Paya Lebar Way cluster, and one case is linked to the Bishan Street 12 cluster.

A potential new cluster which involved one previously reported case and a new case today were announced. They both live in the Elite Terrace area. While, the other four cases have no known links to any existing cluster.

Earlier on last Saturday. MOH announced that the National Public Health Laboratory and A*STAR’s Bioinformatics Institute has completed the sequencing analysis of the Zika virus found in two patients from the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive cluster. The analysis found that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in Southeast Asia. MOH states that the virus from these two patients was not imported from South America and more details will be released by the research team shortly.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said that the vector control is the key to control the disease, systematic and holistic approach through surveillance, prevention and control, outbreak management and outreach to arrest mosquito borne transmission in Singapore. Its objective is to keep mosquito-borne disease incidence low through reducing the mosquito population and breaking the disease transmission chain.

Currently, NEA is conducting vector control operations and outreach efforts in the cluster areas at Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive/ Paya Lebar Way/ Kallang Way/ Circuit Road/ Geylang East Central/ Geylang East Avenue 1, Bedok North Avenue, Joo Seng Road, and Bishan Street 12.

A total of 150 breeding habitats have been found and destroyed in the cluster areas, of which 99 are from homes, and 51 from outdoor areas, as of 6 September 2016.

It would also be carrying out vector control operations and outreach efforts at Elite Terrace.

NEA stated that aligned to the dengue control approach, it will continue to work with stakeholders and the community to reduce mosquito breeding, as vector control is key to reducing the transmission of Zika in the community.

Starting from 7 September 2016, members of the public can obtain updated information on Zika and details on current clusters at NEA’s website:www.nea.gov.sg/zika and www.nea.gov.sg/zika-clusters.