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328 cases of Zika infection, as 14 new cases confirmed

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that as of 12 pm on 10 September, 14 new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection was confirmed in Singapore, bringing the number to 328.

Among these cases, 7 of them were linked to the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive/ Kallang Way/ Paya Lebar Way cluster, one case was linked to the Bishan Street 12 cluster and one case was linked to the Bedok North Avenue 3 cluster.

MOH said that there is a potential new cluster involving one previously reported case and a new case today, in which they both live in the Jalan Raya/ Circuit Road area. In the mean time, the other four cases have no known links to any existing cluster.

MOH had announced earlier 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. However, the first case that was reported in May 2016 had been confirmed to be the same as the strains currently found in South America the strains currently found in South America.

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 continuing with 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 2/ Bedok North Avenue 3/ Bedok North Street 3; Joo Seng Road; Bishan Street 12; Elite Terrace and Ubi Crescent. It stated that a total of 194 breeding habitats have been found and destroyed in the cluster areas, of which 117 are from homes, and 77 from common areas/other premises as of 9 September 2016.

It also stated that vector control operations and outreach efforts at Jalan Raya/Circuit Road would also be carrying out.

Outreach activities supporting the Mozzie Wipeout Movement Against Zika will be conducted all over Singapore this weekend to urge all residents to join in the collective effort in the fight against Zika by doing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout, removing stagnant water and not littering.

Members of the public can obtain updated information on Zika and details on current clusters at NEA’s website: www.nea.gov.sg/zika andwww.nea.gov.sg/zika-clusters.