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NEA announces Bishan no longer active cluster

The National Environment Agency (NEA) announces that the cluster located at Bishan Street 12 (Blk 122, 123, 134) is the first Zika cluster to be closed since the first case of locally transmitted Zika virus infection was confirmed on 27 August 2016.

It says that the cluster was closed on 19 September 2016 after no new cases were reported there after two weeks. The area is kept under close surveillance, and would continue to be so until 10 October 2016, three weeks after the cluster closure date.

The surveillance period takes into account the incubation period of the Zika virus, and the lifespan of the Aedes mosquito. When a cluster is closed under surveillance, NEA continues to inspect the common areas to remove any potential breeding habitats and carry out premises inspection based on data collected from the Gravitraps deployed.

As of 3 pm on 28 September, there were another 5 cases reported during the week, bringing the number to 396 locally transmitted Zika infection.

The NEA urges all residents and stakeholders to continue to maintain vigilance and keep to a high standard of housekeeping to eliminate all mosquito breeding habitats, as there could still be asymptomatic cases in the area, which might fuel further transmission of the virus if there are mosquitoes in the vicinity, even though the cluster has closed.

NEA says that the Zika cluster located at Bishan Street 12 (Blk 122, 123, 134) was first notified on 6 September 2016 and a total of five Zika cases were reported. Since the cluster was notified, NEA had conducted inspections in residential premises and outdoor areas, including common areas in the estate. Eight mosquito breeding habitats, comprising two in homes and six in common areas/other premises, were detected and destroyed.

NEA’s vector control operations include:

  •  Killing adult mosquitoes, including uninfected ones to prevent transmission of the Zika virus (using insecticide fogging and misting, and space spraying indoors)
  • Removing mosquito breeding sources to prevent the emergence of adult mosquitoes to reduce disease transmission through intensive search-and-destroy operations, both indoors and outdoors
  • Rallying the community to help sustain efforts for Zika prevention and control through outreach.

NEA announced that as at 27 September 2016, there are eight other Zika clusters located at Aljunied Crescent, Bedok North Avenue 3, Joo Seng Road, Elite Terrace, Ubi Ave 1, Balam Road, Sengkang Central and Hougang Ave 7. NEA is continuing with vector control operations and outreach efforts in the cluster areas.

NEA also said that out of these eight clusters, seven clusters have not seen cases with onset date in the past one week or more. When there are no cases with onset dates within the last two weeks at these clusters, they would also be closed under surveillance.

There is also a drop in the number of cases notified at the Aljunied Crescent cluster. At its peak, more than 20 cases were being reported there in a day, but this has dropped to about 29 cases in the past two weeks – approximately two cases per day.

As the Zika virus is transmitted by the female Aedes mosquito, similar to dengue, mosquito prevention and control remains the key to prevent the transmission of the Zika virus. The majority of mosquito breeding detected is found in homes. It is critical that all of us as a community take immediate steps to prevent mosquito breeding in our homes by doing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout, and protect ourselves from mosquito bites by applying insect repellent.

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NEA encourages residents to give their full cooperation to NEA officers to inspect their premises for mosquito breeding and to spray insecticide to kill any mosquitoes. For residents who are not at home when NEA officers knock on their doors, they are requested to call NEA at 1800-2255-632 to make an appointment for the inspection as soon as possible.