Thermal fogging conducted at Simon Place in Aljunied GRC (Source : Sylvia Lim Facebook page).

Second Zika cluster found at Flower Road and Hendry Close

A second cluster of the Zika virus has been confirmed at Flower Road and Hendry Close, which is close to the ongoing Simon Place cluster that was confirmed on 28 March 2017.

The two new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection are both from residents living in the same vicinity. The National Environmental Agency (NEA) wrote in its statement that the new Zika cluster was notified on Thursday, 6 April 2017 and vector control operations are ongoing.

“Residents and stakeholders are urged to maintain vigilance and continue to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats, as there could still be asymptomatic or mild, undiagnosed cases which might result in further transmission of the virus if there are mosquitoes in the vicinity,” NEA added.

NEA urges members of the public to seek medical attention if they are unwell, especially with symptoms such as fever and rash. “They should also inform their doctors of the location of their residence and workplace,” NEA said.

Just last week, the first Zika cluster of the year was reported at Simon Place on 28 March, last Tuesday. Both cases were from residents in the vicinity and from the same household. As of 29 March, NEA had inspected about 120 premises out of about 400 premises in the Simon Place cluster to check for mosquito breeding, and also conducted ground checks in the vicinity. 10 breeding habitats – comprising seven in homes and three in common areas/other premises – were detected and destroyed, according to NEA’s statement.

Most people infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms, NEA said, and that heightens the risk of a Zika resurgence as it may take some time before a reintroduced Zika virus is detected. With the presence of the Aedes mosquito vector here, everyone must therefore continue to maintain vigilance and play his part to prevent future localised transmission through eradicating mosquito breeding habitats in our neighbourhoods.

There were nearly 300 cases of the Zika virus reported since August last year. Initially however, the infection was not detected by doctors in clinics as they did not expect to encounter the virus in their patients when their patients expressed that they had not visited specific countries, or been travelling.

It was only when a group of doctors from Sims Drive Medical Clinic noticed a  “sudden spike” to patients having mild fever, rashes and joint pains that the doctors drew attention to the increase in cases and was further suspicious when the patients were tested negative for dengue, chikungunya, measles and rubella.

They referred their clinic’s patients to Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital under the assistance of the Ministry of Health (MOH). Dr Lim Chien Chuan,  Dr Chi Wei Ming and Dr Tan May Yen were the three doctors who alerted MOH about the virus in August last year.

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