Zika alert: Singapore identifies new Zika cluster in Little India

The total number of locally transmitted Zika virus cases reaches up to 415 in Singapore.

Philippines reports first Zika virus pregnancy case
A new zika virus cluster identified in Singapore. Reuters

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has said a new Zika cluster has been discovered at Veerasamy Road in the Little India district of Singapore.

The agency said as of Wednesday, two cases were reported at Block 633, Veerasamy Road. Both the cases showed symptoms of the virus infection in the last two weeks.

This identification comes a day after Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area cluster, the first and biggest local Zika cluster, was closed.

Reports showed that two other active clusters were already declared on Oct 13 and Oct 17 at Ubi Avenue 1 and Jalan Chengkak/Jalan Raya respectively. Four cases were reported from the Ubi Avenue cluster while three were reported from the other one.

On Tuesday, NEA said in a statement that sporadic cases are still being reported in Singapore as Zika virus was still present within the community. It also added that the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area was being closely monitored under close surveillance and it will continue to do so until Oct 31.

The agency requested the public to be careful about new breeding grounds in their own localities.

As of 3 pm on Wednesday, two new locally transmitted zika virus cases were reported, bringing the total number of cases to 415 in Singapore.

Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, 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. 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.