Lawmaker Urges Health Ministry to Spend Big to Fight Zika Virus

by Edgar Hayes September 6, 2016, 0:19
Lawmaker Urges Health Ministry to Spend Big to Fight Zika Virus

The ministry is also considering sending confirmed cases home to recuperate, but the infected persons are advised to take precautions to prevent themselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes, Khor said while attending a community outreach event in western Singapore on Sunday morning.

The review comes amid a stabilisation in the number of new Zika cases: 27 announced yesterday, following 26 on Saturday, compared with 38 on Friday, bringing the total to 242. Numerous cases are thought to be locally-transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

"There is a potential new cluster involving one previously reported case and a new case today (Sunday)".

The Health Ministry said the finding was based on a sequencing analysis of the virus found in two patients from the Aljunied Crescent and the Sims Drive cluster.

Mr Subuh said the Ministry was actively monitoring for Zika, but experts said authorities would struggle to identify patients as few hospitals offer Zika testing, and those that did expected patients to pay more than $198 for a test, putting it out of reach of many ordinary Indonesians. Although there have not been any Zika transmissions or infected mosquitos in Orlando, the area's theme parks have been offering free bug spray to help quell guest fears. Malaysia confirmed its first case of Zika infection in a 58-year-old woman - who had visited her daughter in Singapore - on September 1.

CNN reported that around 2.6 billion people in Asia and Africa could contract Zika.

In November 2015, Brazil declared a national public health emergency as cases of suspected microcephaly continued to rise.

More importantly, the Singaporean government's $72-million worth of efforts to curtail the spread of dengue fever - a disease also carried by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, hasn't translated to further success in terms of stopping Zika from spreading. In June, there were more than 1500 confirmed cases of microcephaly in Brazil.

The DOH has coordinated with the local officials to intensify mosquito control efforts including targeted fogging.

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