Zika virus cases in Singapore reach up to 215

The National Environment Agency officials say the analytics indicated that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage.

Singapore health authorities said on Saturday that 26 new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in Singapore has been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to 215.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement that 24 out of the 26 new cases are linked to the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive/Kallang Way/Paya Lebar Way cluster.

The other two cases have no known links to any existing cluster but the authorities did not specify where these cases were located from.

NEA said the National Public Health Laboratory has already worked with A*STAR's Bioinformatics Institute to complete the sequencing analysis of the Zika virus found in two patients from the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive cluster.

Officials said the analytics indicated that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in Southeast Asia.

The agency added that the research team will shortly release more details about the virus, but they said the virus was not imported from South America.

NEA said it is still continuing with the vector control operations to control the Aedes mosquito population in Aljunied Crescent, Sims Drive, Kallang Way and Paya Lebar Way as the vector control remains the key solution to reduce the spread of the Zika virus.