Singapore: 12 new Zika cases confirmed, total now past 300-mark

The National Environment Agency says nearly 183 breeding habitats have been detected and destroyed.

The number of Zika virus cases in Singapore reached 304 with 12 newly confirmed cases being reported on Friday.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement that 10 out of the 12 new cases are linked to the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive/ Kallang Way/ Paya Lebar Way cluster while one of those was linked to the new cluster at Elite Terrace.

Authorities said the other new case has no known links to any existing cluster.

Reports said the main cluster spanning Aljunied Crescent, Sims Drive, Kallang Way and Paya Lebar Way accounts for almost 252 cases which show that more than 80% of the locally transmitted Zika cases in Singapore as of Friday.

NEA said it will continue with the vector control operations and outreach efforts in all the clusters 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.

The agency added that as of September 8, nearly 183 breeding habitats have been detected and destroyed.

According to NEA, the precaution methods are quite similar to its approach to dengue cases and urged the public to be very careful. It has urged "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 existing clusters at NEA website.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. The virus can cause birth defects and can also result in microcephaly in which the baby's head is smaller than expected.

While in cases of adults, Zika infections have been linked to a rare neurological syndrome known as Guillain-Barre, and other neurological disorders as well.