There have been 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infections in Singapore, with the transmisson likely to be localised within the Aljunied Crescent-Sims Drive area, say authorities.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong confirmed on Sunday (Aug 28) that it was the report of the first locally transmitted case that prompted the Ministry of Health (MOH) to look back into past cases “where people were seen by doctors but were not suspected to have Zika”.
In a press briefing, officials from MOH and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said that fresh blood and urine tests conducted on some of these individuals picked up the Zika virus, which can be detected “up to a month” after recovery. Based on these tests, the earliest case of locally transmitted Zika infection is likely to have occurred on Jul 31, according to MOH.
TRANSMISSIBILITY OF ZIKA VIRUS
According to MOH, Zika is a generally a “mild” illness, with four in five people not showing symptoms. For the one in five who develop symptoms, it causes a viral fever with skin rashes, body aches and headache. Mild or asymptomatic cases may still transmit the infection.
Patients are usually not infectious after the fifth day after developing symptoms, as the transmissibility period is between three and five days, said Professor Leo Yee Sin, Senior Consultant of the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS