First Zika cluster of 2019 confirmed in Serangoon Gardens: NEA

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika, sit in a petri dish. (AP file photo)

SINGAPORE — The first Zika cluster in Singapore this year has been detected, after three cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection have been confirmed in Serangoon Gardens, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (13 September).

All three cases are residents in the Hemsley Avenue vicinity. The Zika cluster was notified on Friday.

Residents and stakeholders are urged to maintain vigilance and continue to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats, as there could still be asymptomatic or mild, undiagnosed cases which might result in further transmission of the virus if there are mosquitoes in the area, said the NEA.

The Zika cluster is in close proximity to an eight-case dengue cluster at Bridport Avenue, Cowdray Avenue, Huddington Avenue, Portchester Avenue and Tavistock Ave, which was notified on 20 August.

The NEA has commenced vector control operations in the area since the dengue cluster was notified.

As of Friday, five breeding habitats in the dengue cluster area – comprising one in a home and four in common areas/other premises – have been detected and destroyed.

Indoor spraying of insecticides and outdoor misting have been carried out at the premises. Thermal fogging will be carried out in the outdoor areas to eradicate any adult mosquitoes, added the NEA.

NEA officers and community leaders will conduct outreach in the vicinity to distribute Zika information leaflets and insect repellents to households to raise general awareness of Zika, and advise on the steps to prevent mosquito breeding.

The last reported Zika case in Singapore was early last year, when a patient was infected with the virus.

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