The mosquito-borne diseases have become life-threatening at many places due to the sudden outbreak of the disease. One such fatal case has been reported in Singapore, where three cases of locally transmitted Zika infection have been confirmed recently. On Friday, September 13, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has announced the three cases to be this year’s first Zika cluster in Singapore, which has appeared in the Serangoon Gardens area. All the three patients are residents at Hemsley Avenue.
In its press release, NEA warned, “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 vicinity.”
As the NEA reported, the Zika cluster of the year is similar to an eight-case dengue cluster at Bridport Avenue, Cowdray Avenue, Huddington Avenue, Portchester Avenue, Tavistock Avenue, which was notified on August 20. Since then, five mosquito breeding habitats in the dengue cluster have already been destroyed.
According to NEA’s website, there have been a total of 10 Zika cases in Singapore this year, so far. In other mosquito-borne diseases cases, there's been a surge in dengue cases this year, with nine deaths and 11,490 cases.
The first imported case of Zika virus was reported in Singapore in May 2016, while the first locally transmitted case was reported a few months later in August. A total of 45 people were reported infected with Zika by the end of 2016. 2017 was worse, with a total of 67 confirmed cases of Zika, out of which three were imported. However, the numbers came down significantly in 2018, when only one case of Zika was reported.
It is to be kept in mind that both Zika and dengue are transmitted by aedes aegypti mosquito, which usually bites during the daytime. The Zika virus has been associated with various neurological diseases including microcephaly.
To keep the mosquitoes at bay, NEA has urged residents to continue to prevent mosquito breeding habitats. “Residents are requested to allow NEA officers to carry out inspections and indoor spraying of their homes. With the presence of the Aedes mosquito vector here, everyone must continue to maintain vigilance and play his part to prevent future localised transmission through eradicating mosquito breeding habitats in the neighbourhoods,” said the agency.