Singapore Zika virus cases hit 275; new breeding habitat found at Bishan

Singapore health authorities say that six new cases have no known links to any existing cluster.

The number of Zika virus cases in Singapore reached 275 with 17 newly confirmed cases being reported on Tuesday. The health authorities said a potential new cluster has been identified at Bishan Street 12, adding that the new cases were transmitted locally.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement that 10 out of the 17 new cases are linked to the Aljunied Crescent, Sims Drive, Kallang Way, Paya Lebar Way cluster.

The statement also added that one of the new cases was linked to the Bishan Street 12 cluster while the other six cases have no known links to any existing cluster.

NEA said it will carry out vector control operations and outreach efforts at the new potential cluster at Bishan Street 12 along with the efforts in in Aljunied Crescent, Sims Drive, Paya Lebar Way, Kallang Way and other places.

The agency said nearly 65 breeding habitats have been detected and destroyed as of Sep 5.

NEA said that the precaution is similar to its approach to dengue cases and urged the public to be very careful.

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. There is no vaccine for Zika at present.

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.