Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong stated that as of 31 Dec 2016, 458 Zika cases have been reported to the Ministry of Health (MOH) since the first discovered case of Zika infection in August last year.
This was one of his answers to the questions filed by Mr Ang Wei Neng, MP for Jurong GRC, who asked the Minister for Health whether he can provide an update on the spread of the Zika virus in Singapore, how many new Zika cases have been reported in November and December 2016, how many of these cases are of pregnant women, and what is the total number of pregnant women infected by the Zika virus in Singapore and of these, how many have given birth and whether any of these babies have birth defects.
The Minister said that the incidence of new reported cases has been on the decline. 12 cases were reported in November and 4 cases were reported in December.
“In comparison, 283 cases and 43 cases were reported in September and October respectively,” he noted.
Mr Gan also said that as of 31 Dec 2016, a total of 17 pregnant women have been diagnosed with Zika and reported to MOH.
Four of the women have since given birth, and their babies show no signs of abnormalities thus far. One had a miscarriage for reasons not linked to Zika while two pregnancies were terminated for personal reasons. As the two foetuses were at early gestation, it is not possible to determine whether there will be Zika-related abnormalities.
He added that the remaining 10 cases are in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters and their babies will be monitored over 3 years as part of the monitoring programme. There is currently no obvious evidence to show that there are any Zika-related abnormalities.
The Minister stated that MOH has put in place a programme to monitor infants whose mothers were exposed to the Zika virus during their pregnancies.
“We will track their development until they are three years old,” he said.
“Given the presence of the Aedes mosquito here in Singapore, we are likely to continue to have Zika cases in Singapore. Some of these cases may be undiagnosed as the infection may result in mild or even no symptoms. I urge fellow Singaporeans to remain vigilant, and to do our part to prevent mosquito breeding so as to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” the Minister stated.