Singapore confirms 3 new Zika virus cases; none from existing clusters

Authorities say Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive cluster is the most severely hit, with 286 cases.

Singapore confirmed three new cases of locally transmitted Zika infections on Tuesday which brings the total number of cases island-wide to 383.

However, the updated data on the National Environment Agency (NEA) website showed that none of the new cases are linked to the existing nine Zika clusters.

This comes as the new challenge for the authorities who are trying hard to control the spread of the virus.

As stated earlier, NEA is continuing the vector control operations which play the key solution in reducing the spread of the Zika virus. But, it is clear that the agency would have to take serious steps to control the new clusters, which are increasing day by day.

The Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive cluster remains the largest cluster with 286 cases as of Tuesday, and the Elite Terrace cluster the second largest, with 13 cases.

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".

NEA also said outreach activities supporting the Mozzie Wipeout Movement Against Zika will be conducted all over Singapore.

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

In 1947, Zika, a mosquito-borne virus was first identified in Uganda. It can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby.

Zika virus can cause birth defects and can also result in microcephaly in which the baby's head is smaller than expected. At present, there is no vaccine for the virus.

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

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