Singapore: 12 new Zika cases over the weekend; new breeding ground at Hougang Ave 7

The National Environment Agency will start the vector control operations at the newly discovered cluster in Hougang Ave 7.

The number of Zika virus cases in Singapore reached 381 with 12 newly confirmed cases being reported in Singapore. A new potential cluster has been discovered in the in Hougang Ave 7 that involves two cases at Block 325 over the weekend.

According to the latest figures on the National Environment Agency's (NEA) website, three of the remaining new cases are linked to the main Aljunied/Sims Drive cluster. With these, the total number of cases related to the country's largest cluster becomes 286.

Two other cases were confirmed from the Elite Terrace cluster while the remaining cases are still being tested. The Elite Terrace cluster has also listed a total of 13 cases, making it the second largest cluster in Singapore.

NEA said no new cases were reported on Monday as of 3 pm.

The agency is continuing with the vector control operations and outreach efforts at all the potential clusters such as Aljunied Crescent, Sims Drive, Paya Lebar Way, Kallang Way, Bishan Street 12 and other places.

Authorities have already detected and destroyed many breeding habitats but it has urged the public to be careful and take necessary precautions as new clusters are still developing.

It will also start an operation in the newly discovered cluster in Hougang Ave 7.

NEA said the precaution methods are quite similar to its approach to dengue cases.

The agency's website will provide all daily updates regarding the situation of Zika crisis. The members of the public can obtain updated information on Zika and details on current existing clusters from there.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947. It 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. There is no vaccine for Zika at present.

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.

According to the World Health Organisation, people infected with Zika can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms of Zika normally last for two to seven days.