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41 Locally Transmitted Zika Cases Confirmed In Singapore

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Over 40 people have been contracted the Zika virus locally in Singapore, but most of them have fully recovered, authorities reported.

Singapore had its first case of Zika infection in May, brought to the country by a 48-year-old man traveling back from Brazil. The Ministry of Health confirmed 41 cases as of Sunday, US News reports.

Officials at the ministry said in a statement that the individuals diagnosed with Zika were “not known to have traveled to Zika-affected areas recently, and are thus likely to have been infected in Singapore. This confirms that local transmission of Zika virus infection has taken place.”

Of the infected patients, 34 have recovered, and seven remain at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

The ministry named two suburban residential and industrial districts of Singapore where Zika was prevalent: Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive, which have high-rise apartment buildings. It likewise announced that majority of the patients were foreign nationals working in construction. Officials were able to detect the virus through tests.

However, since the virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito, the health ministry said that it cannot ignore the fact that there might be “further community transmission” in other parts of Singapore.

The ministry has told local clinics and hospitals to be “extra vigilant” and immediately report patients who have symptoms caused by the virus, such as fever and rashes. Doctors are recommended to refer any suspected Zika cases to the Communicable Diseases Center, Yahoo News reports.

The National Environment Agency has worked to deploy over 200 officers to examine any possible mosquito breeding areas and destroy them to prevent any further spread of the virus.

The first Zika case in Singapore was a 47-year-old Malaysian woman who remains in the hospital.

Zika has few visible symptoms on most people, but can be damaging and even fatal for fetuses. Infection of a pregnant woman can bring about microcephaly — a condition where the babies head is too small, resulting in stunted brain development — and other deformities.

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