Tuesday 26 January 2016

Zika virus: Singapore takes extra precautions against virus

What is the Zika virus?
What is the Zika virus? More here: http://reut.rs/1RLvYww
Posted by Reuters on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Zika virus - Questions and answers (Q&A)
What is #ZikaVirus?Is there treatment?Should I avoid travelling to areas where #Zika virus is occurring?What can I do to protect myself and my family?
Posted by World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday, January 30, 2016

MOH to set up Clinical Advisory Group on Zika virus infection and pregnancy
The Zika infection is strongly suspected to cause microcephaly in the baby if the mother was infected while she was pregnant.
By Nadia Jansen Hassan and Monica Kotwani, Channel NewsAsia, 3 Feb 2016

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be setting up a Clinical Advisory Group on the Zika virus to provide expert advice on the management of pregnant women with Zika virus infection.

MOH and NEA have introduced additional measures following the WHO’s declaration of an international public health...
Posted by Ministry of Health on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This is in light of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) announcement on Feb 1, declaring microcephaly a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The severe neurological condition, which sees babies born with abnormally small heads and brains, is strongly suspected to be linked to Zika virus infections if the victim is pregnant. This, however, has yet to be scientifically proven.

Prior to WHO's declaration, MOH and the National Environment Agency (NEA) had already stepped up precautionary measures to reduce the risk of Zika taking root in Singapore. These include circulars to doctors and health advisories to travellers to and from Zika-affected countries.

What will happen if a patient is suspected of being infected with the #Zika virus? The protocol in place includes increasing precautionary measures, reports Nadia Jansen Hassan. http://bit.ly/1PzVzXg
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A GP in Tampines, Dr Alvin Ang, confirmed that the Health Ministry had issued a circular less than a week ago, detailing steps to take if Zika is suspected.

“If we suspect Zika, we can just notify one of the officers at MOH," he said. "They will arrange for the blood that we collect from the patient to be sent to the National Public Health lab. They will give us the results in about 48 hours."

MOH reiterated that "travellers who have returned to Singapore from affected areas to monitor their health and consult a doctor if they have symptoms of Zika, such as fever, skin rashes, joint and muscle pains, headaches and red eyes, and to reveal their travel history to their doctor".

The testing ability for the virus has also been expanded to public hospital laboratories.


Doctors that Channel NewsAsia spoke with said there are clear protocols in place in the event someone enters the country carrying the Zika virus.

"At the point of entry to the clinic, we actually screen them for symptoms or any indication that they might have the infection," said Dr Ng Chung Wai, chairperson of the Infection Diseases Workgroup at SingHealth Polyclinics. "If they fit that criteria, then we may even isolate them and refer them appropriately."

Doctors also keep watch for alerts disseminated by the Health Ministry or World Health Organization.

"Most of the time we will get some updates from the Ministry, whether it's WHO or our own Ministry," said Dr Lye Tong Fong, director at the Central 24-hour Clinic Group. "They will send us the most prevalent infection that may be going round the world. From there, we'll roughly identify the risk factors, usually the places they're going to, to and fro. From there, we'll also assess their symptoms, to see if they're at risk."

Right now general practitioners who suspect a Zika virus case will need to take the patient's blood, and notify the Health Ministry. Officers will then arrange for the blood sample to be sent to the National Public Health Laboratory for testing. Confirmed cases of the Zika virus infection will be admitted to a public hospital for treatment.

The patient with the Zika virus will be admitted into a single room. This is to bring down the chances of the patient being bitten by mosquitoes and spreading it to others. Confirmed cases are not allowed to leave the ward under a legal order, but visitors are allowed during the normal visiting hours as the infection is not spread from person to person.

The Ministry said it will pay for charges related to the Zika virus infection until the patient is discharged as the hospital admission is mandated by MOH under the Infectious Diseases Act for the protection of the public. It will also screen those in close vicinity of the patient, like colleagues or family.


While dengue is still their most pressing concern, general practitioners (GPs) 938LIVE spoke with said the Zika virus has been "on their radar" for at least the last two weeks.

938LIVE called more than 20 clinics situated in dengue and non-dengue clusters, such as Tampines, Pasir Ris and Toa Payoh.

Most of them said they have been taking travel histories of patients for some time, especially after SARS in 2003, and most recently the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. However, in suspected dengue cases, patients are now also asked if they have travelled to South American countries such as Brazil or Colombia.

Doctors say travel to the region is rare, with only one clinic seeing patients travelling to Brazil for work in the last month.

Dr Philip Koh who runs a clinic in Tampines Street 71, close to a dengue cluster, said: "In Singapore now, dengue is known to be endemic, but Zika is not yet endemic, so we still have to look out for dengue first.”

He added that “we should not be too overly worried at the moment although we should keep it at the back of our mind that we may have another outbreak".


MOH also urged all Singaporeans to take appropriate precautions to prevent mosquito breeding in their area.

"It is critical that all of us as a community continue to play our part by remaining vigilant," said the ministry. “As Zika is transmitted through mosquitoes, vector control remains the mainstay to prevent transmission of the Zika virus.

"NEA has already stepped up its vector control efforts, in partnership with the community, agencies and stakeholders, to control the mosquito population in response to the ongoing dengue outbreak. This will help keep the mosquito population low.”

Zika: WHO declares health emergency
The Straits Times, 3 Feb 2016

GENEVA • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an international public health emergency due to Zika's link to thousands of recent birth defects in Brazil.

It also warned that the mosquito-borne virus linked to a microcephaly outbreak in Latin America could spread to Africa and Asia, as new cases were reported yesterday - a second in Thailand and two in Australia. All three people have since recovered, according to the health authorities in both countries.

The WHO has launched a global response unit to deal with the formal response, Dr Anthony Costello, its director for maternal, child and adolescent health, told a press conference in Geneva yesterday.

He said the WHO was drafting "good guidelines" for pregnant women and mustering experts to work on a definition of microcephaly, including a standardised measurement of baby heads.


WHO fears Zika could spread to Asia, Africa
It says coordinated global action is needed to combat the mosquito-borne virus linked to birth defect
The Straits Times, 3 Feb 2016

GENEVA • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus an international public health emergency as it gears up to combat the microcephaly outbreak in Latin America linked to the virus, which it fears could spread to Asia and Africa with "the highest birth rates in the world".

The emergency declaration came as Australia confirmed its first cases of the virus this year and Thailand reported its second.

WHO chief Margaret Chan told reporters that coordinated global action was needed to improve detection and expedite work on a vaccine and better diagnostics for Zika, but said curbs on travel or trade were not necessary.

Dr Chan, whose agency was criticised as too slow in reacting to West Africa's Ebola epidemic that killed more than 10,000 people in the past two years, cited "first and foremost the big concern about microcephaly", the birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains. She noted that it was "strongly suspected but not yet scientifically proven" that Zika causes microcephaly.

Brazil has reported some 3,700 suspected cases of microcephaly.

"Can you imagine if we do not do all this work now, and wait until the scientific evidence comes out?" she told reporters at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on Monday.

In Australia, two Sydney residents were diagnosed with the Zika virus last Friday after returning from Haiti. The couple had mild cases of the virus and had recovered, the New South Wales Health Department said yesterday.

Thailand, the worst-hit country in South-east Asia, yesterday said a 22-year-old man infected with the Zika virus on Jan 24 had recovered after he was treated.

The WHO's emergency declaration, recommended by a committee of independent experts that met on Monday following criticism of a hesitant response to Zika so far, should help fast-track international action and research priorities. The move lends official urgency to research funding and other steps to stem the spread of the virus.

The WHO said last week that the Zika virus was "spreading explosively" and could infect as many as four million people in the Americas. The Pan American Health Organisation says Zika has spread in 24 nations and territories in the Americas.

This marks the fourth time the WHO has declared a global health emergency since such procedures were put in place in 2007, with the others arising from influenza, Ebola and polio.

Brazil is due to host the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, but the government has ruled out any risk of cancelling the Games due to Zika.


Major outbreak of Zika virus unlikely in Singapore: Expert
By Salma Khalik, Senior Health Correspondent, The Straits Times, 3 Feb 2016

The Zika virus will come to Singapore, but is unlikely to result in major outbreaks here in the way that dengue has, an infectious disease expert has told The Straits Times.

The virus has infected millions of people in South America, with Brazil claiming it is the reason more than 4,000 babies have been born with abnormally small heads since October last year.

But Dr Lim Poh Lian, head of the infectious diseases department at the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said that when Zika arrives here, it is likely to have a similar effect as chikungunya.

The first transmission of chikungunya in Singapore was in 2008, but numbers have remained low, peaking in 2013 with 1,059 cases. Last year, 42 people were infected.

To prevent Zika's spread, anyone with a confirmed infection will be hospitalised until tests show he no longer harbours the virus in his blood, Dr Lim said.

As both Zika and dengue have similar symptoms, she said a person would be suspected to have Zika only if he had been to an area where there is an outbreak.

A blood test would confirm this within 48 hours.

Experts advise pregnant women to reconsider travel to places that have #Zika outbreaks, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a public health emergency. More on the implications of Zika on Talking Point, Thursday on Mediacorp Channel 5 at 9.30pm. http://bit.ly/1UGxRc7
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Zika is normally a pretty mild disease, although it is feared it could be dangerous to unborn babies if their mothers are infected.

Dr Lim said "it is strongly suspected but not scientifically proven" that it causes microcephaly - a condition where infants are born with abnormally small brains and heads - if the mother is infected while pregnant. Such children face a high risk of serious developmental problems, both mental and physical, and also shorter lifespans.

Dr Lim advised pregnant women to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Zika, like dengue and chikungunya, is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which is currently causing an out-of-season dengue epidemic here.

There were 636 reported cases of dengue last week and more than 2,500 last month - compared with less than 1,000 in January last year.

Dengue numbers have been rising since the middle of December.

"We think it's going to be a bad year for dengue," said Dr Lim, adding that infections will likely top the previous high of more than 22,000 cases in 2013.

There are now 151 active clusters, mostly in the eastern half of the country. The biggest cluster, in Tampines around Avenue 4 and Street 81, is still growing and now has 267 cases, of which 26 were reported within the past fortnight.

US officials confirm sexually transmitted Zika case in Texas
The Straits Times, 4 Feb 2016

MIAMI • The Zika virus has been transmitted sexually, top United States health authorities confirmed on Tuesday, fuelling fears of the rapid spread of the disease blamed for a surge in the number of brain-damaged babies.

With concern growing that an outbreak sweeping Latin America could spread much farther, the health authorities in Texas said they had confirmation of the virus being transmitted by sexual contact and not just by tropical mosquitoes.

That is a troubling prospect for the US, Canada and Europe, where Zika had so far appeared only in travellers returning from affected areas.

"The patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with an ill individual who returned from a country where Zika virus is present" this year, a Dallas County statement read.

The county subsequently tweeted that the virus was contracted from someone who had travelled to Venezuela, and that a second case of Zika imported from Venezuela has also been documented.

Dr Tom Frieden, director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), later on Tuesday confirmed in an e-mail the case of sexually transmitted infection reported earlier in Texas. Last month, the CDC said it was aware of one reported case of sexual transmission of Zika and one case of the virus being present in a man's semen after it disappeared from his blood.

Zika, which was first identified in Uganda in 1947, causes relatively mild flu-like symptoms and a rash. But there is growing alarm over an apparent link between the current outbreak and a rise in birth defects and cases of a potentially crippling neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Latin American nations, particularly Brazil, have reported a surge in cases of microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, since the Zika outbreak was declared in the region last year.

The virus is spread primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, whose habitat is concentrated in the tropics, giving temperate countries an apparent reprieve. But sexual transmission would complicate matters.

"The majority of Zika infections are asymptomatic," said Dr Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at Oxford University. "Is there a risk of sexual transmission from people who had asymptomatic infection? For how long can sperm be infectious? This highlights our ignorance of this virus."

A day after declaring the spike in serious birth defects in South America an international emergency, the World Health Organisation said it had created a global Zika response unit to contain the virus.

WHO expert Anthony Costello emphasised the urgency of rapid action, stressing that there was no reason to believe the crisis would remain limited to Latin America. "We know that the mosquitoes that carry Zika virus... are present through most of Africa, parts of southern Europe and many parts of Asia, particularly South Asia," he said.

Underlining Mr Costello's point, Thai officials announced that a man had contracted the virus in the country. Cape Verde off the coast of West Africa has reported domestic cases, while Indonesia yesterday confirmed one case dating back to last year, in Jambi, Central Sumatra.


Stay vigilant as Singapore is 'vulnerable' to Zika virus
By Linette Lai, The Straits Times, 25 Jan 2016

Singapore cannot rule out the possibility of the Zika virus making its way here, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said yesterday, as cases have been reported in neighbouring countries.

Dr Khor, who is also Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, added that the virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is very common here and also transmits dengue.

"Singapore would be vulnerable to the potential import of the Zika virus, simply because Singaporeans travel a lot to the region and, of course, there are tourists here," she said.

MOH has been closely monitoring the Zika virus situation, and will be introducing several measures with the National...
Posted by Ministry of Health on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Apart from the outbreaks in South America and the Caribbean, small numbers of cases have been detected in East Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand, she said.

The Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947. Infections have generally been considered mild, with many of those who have the virus not showing any symptoms.

However, the virus has recently been associated with brain malformation in foetuses and infants of infected mothers in Brazil, sparking widespread concern. The link, however, has not yet been conclusively proven.

Infectious diseases physician Leong Hoe Nam said the symptoms of dengue and Zika infections are broadly similar. But Zika infections tend to be milder, with less severe muscle aches and back pains than those usually associated with dengue, he told The Straits Times. In addition, Zika patients tend to develop conjunctivitis, more commonly known as red eye.

Dr Leong added that up to nine in 10 people infected with Zika may not show symptoms at all.

Yesterday, Dr Khor said that while there have been no reported cases of Zika here yet, Singaporeans should remain vigilant.

"There could be undetected cases, since the symptoms exhibited by infected persons could be mild, or some may not even exhibit (them)," she said.

Dr Khor was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to two plant nurseries along Thomson Road, during which she reminded shoppers to keep up the fight against dengue during the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Dengue numbers have been unusually high this year, with 136 active clusters as of last Friday, compared with 120 the week before.

This is attributable to a change in the prevailing strain of dengue, as well as the warmer weather in recent months, which facilitates mosquito breeding. While the predominant dengue strain for the past two years was Den-1, around two-thirds of all dengue cases now belong to the Den-2 serotype.

Yesterday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Health Ministry (MOH) released a joint statement on this year's first dengue death. The 47-year-old man had lived in Marsiling Rise in an active dengue cluster. He was admitted to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last Thursday, and died the next day.

The authorities said that steps to kill adult mosquitoes and destroy breeding spots have been in place in the area since Jan 5.

In the light of the expected spike in dengue cases this year, they said: "There is an urgent need to keep the mosquito population under control.

"Residents are urged to cooperate fully and allow NEA officers to inspect their premises for mosquito breeding and to spray insecticide to kill any infective mosquitoes."

In a separate statement on the Zika virus, the MOH advised people, especially those who are pregnant, to protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to countries with local transmission. They should wear clothing that covers the body and limbs, apply insect repellent, and sleep under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire-mesh screens.

What is #Zika?What are the symptoms?How is it treated?Should pregnant women be concerned?
Posted by World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday, January 23, 2016

¿Quieres saber más sobre el #zika?Una de cada cuatro personas puede desarrollar síntomas, pero en quienes sí son...
Posted by PAHO-WHO on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

21 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean have reported cases of Zika, more than double the number only one month ago.
Posted by World Economic Forum on Saturday, January 23, 2016

Zika virus: Countries urge women not to get pregnant
Rise in birth defects suspected to be linkedto mosquito-borne virus in Latin America
The Straits Times, 25 Jan 2016

SAN SALVADOR • Health officials in many nations in Latin America are urging women not to get pregnant in an effort to halt a surge of birth defects suspected to stem from the rapid spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Originating in East Africa, Zika landed in Latin America last year and has spread across virtually the whole region via Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, according to the Panamerican Health Organisation. Many cases have also been reported in the Caribbean.

So far, El Salvador appears to have taken the most dramatic step to combat the virus, urging women not to get pregnant until 2018, although the recommendation issued last week is not official policy.

To combat its spread, other Latin American countries such as Colombia and Ecuador, as well as Jamaica in the Caribbean, have recommended delaying pregnancies, though not for an entire two years.

The rest of Latin America has responded with different tactics, ranging from widespread fumigation efforts to directing citizens not to be bitten by the Aedes mosquito, which is known to carry yellow, chikungunya and dengue fevers. In particular, women were urged to prevent mosquito bites, including by wearing long sleeves and pants, and applying insect repellent.

The hardest-hit nation in the region has been Brazil. The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week noted a surge in cases of microcephaly in Brazil. Microcephaly is a rare, incurable condition in which an infant's head is abnormally small.

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said last Friday there were 3,893 suspected microcephaly cases in Brazil, which included 49 deaths. Before last year, there were about 160 cases of microcephaly in Brazil on average.

"The link between the Zika and the microcephaly... is still being investigated," Mr Lindmeier said, but acknowledged that Zika "seems the strongest candidate".

There is no overall figure for the number of cases detected globally, but it has previously been detected in Africa, South-east Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Fears over the outbreak have pushed up the price of mosquito repellent in Brazil, where Health Minister Marcelo Castro said last Friday that a "war" against the Aedes aegypti type was failing.

"For nearly 30 years, the mosquito has been transmitting these illnesses to our population and since then we've been fighting, but we are losing," he was quoted as saying by Brazil's G1 news site.

The health authorities say no vaccine is currently available for the virus, and only the symptoms can be treated.

For most people, the effects of the Zika virus are mild. Victims are sometimes unaware that they have contracted the virus and hospital treatment is rarely needed.

Symptoms include a skin rash, fever, muscle and joint pain, lasting up to seven days.

Concerns about the virus led US health authorities to expand their travel warning last Friday for pregnant women to avoid 22 places in Latin America and the Caribbean. The latest advisory added places including Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Cape Verde and Samoa to an alert issued by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention previously that had named Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador, among others.

Pregnant women and women considering becoming pregnant have been urged by the agency to postpone visits to those countries.

The New York State Department of Health said last Friday that three people in New York, who had travelled to areas outside the US, had also tested positive for the virus.


Zika 'set to spread across the Americas'
The Straits Times, 26 Jan 2016

GENEVA • The mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is suspected of causing birth defects, is expected to spread to all countries in the Americas except Canada and Chile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Zika has suspected but unproven links to microcephaly - in which babies born to women infected during pregnancy have abnormally small heads. The virus is already present in 21 of the 55 countries and territories across the Americas, the WHO said in a statement on Sunday.

But it stressed that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika and also the dengue and chikungunya viruses, is already present in all countries in the Americas, other than Canada and Chile.

The WHO pointed out that since people in the region had not been exposed to Zika before it emerged in Brazil last May, they lacked immunity, allowing the virus to spread quickly. The United Nations health agency said it therefore "anticipates that Zika virus will continue to spread and will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found".

The virus may also spread through sexual contact. "Zika has been isolated in human semen, and one case of possible person-to-person sexual transmission has been described. However, more evidence is needed to confirm whether sexual contact is a means of Zika transmission," the WHO said.

There is currently no evidence of Zika being transmitted to babies through breast milk, the WHO said.

WHO chief Margaret Chan said at the organisation's executive committee meeting in Geneva yesterday that "the explosive spread of Zika virus to new geographical areas, with little population immunity, is cause for concern, especially given the possible link between infection during pregnancy and babies born with small heads".

A surge in incidents across Latin America has prompted some countries to warn pregnant women against travelling to the region - an alarming prospect for Brazil as it gears up to light the Olympic torch on Aug 5.

Rio de Janeiro has promised stepped-up measures to eradicate Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes at Olympic venues before the Games start. "The mayor's office will be intensifying inspections for the Olympics in August, despite this being a period with lower numbers of mosquitoes," the City Hall said in a statement on Sunday.

"About a month before the opening of the Games, a team will visit all competition sites to eliminate possible concentrations," the mayor's office said. It said its campaign would be helped by the fact that the Games will take place during the Southern Hemisphere winter, but there would still be an increase in preventive efforts.


Jacqueline was pregnant with twins when she was bitten by a mosquito in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, the epicentre...
Posted by The Guardian on Saturday, January 30, 2016

WHO announced today that the recent cluster of neurological disorders and neonatal malformations reported in the...
Posted by World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday, February 1, 2016

A*STAR, Tan Tock Seng Hospital developing Zika virus detection kit
If successful, the kits could be distributed to hospitals by the end of March, in preparation for any outbreaks in Singapore.
By Nadia Jansen Hassan, Channel NewsAsia, 2 Feb 2016

Scientists from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital are working on equipping an existing diagnostic test kit with the capability to detect the Zika virus.

The current kit, which was invented by the two institutions, is being used in hospitals in South East Asia to detect the dengue and chikungunya viruses.


The kit consists of a solution, kept in a small test tube, which has the right environment to recognise the viruses. Once a patient's blood sample is added into the solution, the test tube is then placed in a machine, which will then determine if the patient has been infected with dengue or chikungunya.

"We are able to detect several pathogens in one tube, which is economical and fast. It becomes more helpful to the clinicians and we can get answers very quickly," said Dr Masafumi Inoue, a researcher at A*STAR.

The aim now is for the solution to be able to recognise the Zika virus as well. The scientists said they started work on this in October 2015 and have been studying various Zika strains so that they can modify the solution.

"We are trying to see how the viruses in Brazil are different from the ones in Africa. We even made 3-D structure models to understand how the virus changes. This can have implications on how easy it is to make a diagnostic kit or other things like a vaccine," said Dr Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, a researcher at A*STAR.

A*STAR, Tan Tock Seng Hospital developing Zika virus detection...
A*STAR and Tan Tock Seng Hospital are working on equipping a dengue and chikugunya detection kit with the ability to pick up #Zika. How the current kit works: http://bit.ly/2067NIF
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Preliminary results are expected at the end of February. If successful, the kits could be distributed to hospitals by the end of March, in preparation for any outbreaks in Singapore.

Currently, labs in Singapore can check for Zika, but separately from dengue and chikungunya. This can take up to 48 hours, so it takes up more time if a patient needs to be checked for all three viruses, which have overlapping symptoms.

Zika typically causes mild fever and rashes, and many of those infected show no symptoms.

As for whether some could be immune to it, one expert said more data needs to be collated.

"We do not know the susceptibility of the different populations towards Zika. To us, it is novel. We truly have to be vigilant in our ability to be able to pick up this virus and minimise transmissions as much as we can," said Professor Leo Yee Sin, director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

As Zika is spread by infected Aedes mosquitoes, which also transmit dengue, Prof Leo said it is important to step up precautionary measures to stop them from breeding.

The World Health Organization on Monday declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency due to its link to thousands of birth defects in Brazil.

Alarm in recent months over the Zika virus, which many researchers believe can cause microcephaly in the fetuses of...
Posted by CBS News on Sunday, February 14, 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment