Singapore fights Zika as cases spike

Singapore, Aug 30 (IANS) The Singapore government on Tuesday intensified efforts to destroy Aedes mosquito breeding habitats in a southeastern suburb as the number of confirmed Zika cases rose to 56.

“We expect to identify more positive cases. Given that the majority of Zika cases are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and mosquitoes in the affected areas may already have been infected, isolation of positive cases may have limited effect in managing the spread,” a statement from the Health Ministry said.

The ministry, in conjunction with the National Environment Agency (NEA), on Tuesday destroyed at least 36 breeding habitats and inspected hundreds of sites in the Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive neighbourhood, Efe news quoted a media report as saying.

The heightened vector control operations came after 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika were identified on Sunday, with the majority of patients being construction workers who had not travelled and yet were infected locally.

Ongoing health screenings of the area’s residents confirmed a total of 56 cases.

According to the World Health Organisation, the Zika virus is now present in at least 58 countries globally with evidence of local transmission in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.



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