First locally-transmitted Zika virus case reported in Singapore

The National Environment Agency has taken steps to monitor and control the situation at Aljunied Crescent.

A 47-year-old Malaysian woman living at Block 102 Aljunied Crescent was confirmed to have Zika virus infection on Saturday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

Both MOH and NEA said in a joint news release that the patient had not travelled to Zika-affected areas recently and hence she was likely to have been infected in Singapore.

They said the patient had developed symptoms such as fever, rash and conjunctivitis from Thursday.

"She has since been hospitalised for observation at the CDC. The patient is currently well and recovering," the joint news release said.

NEA has already taken steps to monitor the situation at Aljunied Crescent and prepare the residents for the battle.

The agency has put up posters at the lift landings of Block 102, providing background information on Zika. It has also informed residents about fogging that would take place in the area on Sunday morning.

Five NEA officers were seen in the area on Saturday night distributing leaflets and bottles of insect repellent spray.

The news release said MOH is screening all the close contacts of the patient, including household members. It is also carrying out Zika tests on other people who live in the same area or who have symptoms of fever and rash.

"At this point, three other suspect cases - two in a family who live in the area and an individual who works in the area - had preliminarily tested positive based on their urine samples. They are pending further confirmation tests," the release stated.

MOH and NEA alerted the public to be very careful and also urged them to immediately report patients with symptoms associated with Zika virus infection to MOH.

On May 13, Singapore reported its first imported Zika virus case and this is the second case of confirmed Zika case in this year.

The news release added: "With the presence of Zika in our region and the volume of travel by Singaporeans as well as tourists, it is inevitable that there will be imported cases of Zika into Singapore. There is also a risk of subsequent local transmission, as the Aedes mosquito vector is present here. While MOH and NEA have stepped up precautionary measures, we expect that there may be further cases, as most infected persons may display mild or no symptoms."