Singapore: Zika virus cases reach up to 329, 8 pregnant women affected

The Ministry of Health says eight pregnant women have been infected with the virus as of now.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday that 11 new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection cases have been confirmed bringing the total number of cases up to 329.

MOH said out of these 11 cases, only one case is linked to the Elite Terrace cluster but the other ten cases have no known links to any existing cluster.

The ministry added in its statement that so far eight pregnant women have been infected with the virus and the doctors are closely following up with them to provide support and counselling.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) believes that the vector control operations play the key solution in reducing the spread of the Zika virus.

The agency is continuing with vector control operations and outreach efforts in the cluster areas 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; Ubi Crescent and Jalan Raya/Circuit Road.

NEA added that a total of 202 breeding habitats have been found and destroyed in the cluster areas as of September 10. Out of these, 121 are from homes while 81 are from common areas and other premises.

From Monday onwards, NEA and MOH will be providing daily updates via NEA's website and 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 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.

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 symptoms of Zika normally last for two to seven days.