3 students, teacher who caught chikungunya in Thailand return to Singapore; another student hospitalised
SINGAPORE: Three students and a teacher from School of the Arts (SOTA) who had tested positive for chikungunya while in Thailand have returned to Singapore, SOTA told the Ministry Of Health (MOH) on Sunday (Jun 2).
Separately, two students who were well during the trip developed symptoms upon arrival in Singapore, and have since sought medical treatment. Both tested positive for chikungunya on Jun 3, said MOH in a statement on Tuesday.
One of the students received outpatient treatment, while the other was hospitalised.
"MOH has advised the school to ensure that all returning individuals from the trip seek medical treatment if they are unwell within 12 days (maximum incubation period for chikungunya) from their departure from Thailand," said MOH.
During a school trip originally scheduled to take place from May 25 to Jun 4 in Thailand, 13 SOTA students between the ages of 15-17 and a teacher developed chikungunya fever after getting bitten by mosquitoes in Ratchaburi province.
On Sunday, SOTA said that 19 students who went on the trip "returned safely" after the trip was cut short.
The conditions of students who were hospitalised earlier have since stabilised, with parents being kept in the loop, SOTA added. No more trips to Thailand have been planned.
According to reports, six students were still hospitalised on Bangkok on Monday.
The Ministry Of Education (MOE) said that schools have measures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of students on school-organised overseas trips.
"Before departure, schools would monitor the in-country and regional developments of their destination and seek advice from the MOE-appointed travel consultants for any potential risks," said MOE.
"Based on a school’s assessment of the risks, travel itineraries could be adjusted and trips could be shortened, postponed or cancelled in some scenarios.
"During the trip, teachers would also keep a lookout for any signs and symptoms of students being unwell, and if necessary, the teachers would call for appropriate medical attention. In addition, the MOE-appointed travel consultant could be activated to provide further support to the school."
The chikungunya virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, similar to dengue and Zika.
Symptoms include fever, joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea and rash. Most cases recover fully, but joint pain may persist for several weeks to years in some cases.