Tracking Singapore’s Zika outbreak

The first case of locally transmitted Zika infection in Singapore was reported on Aug 27. Here is a breakdown of confirmed Zika cases until Sept 22.

Mapping the Zika outbreak

Below are the details and approximate locations of the Zika cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health between Aug 27 and Sept 22, at the height of the Zika outbreak here.

For current figures, visit NEA's Zika site.

Click on a circle to find out more and use the slider to see the cases over time. The size of the circles is proportional to the number of cases confirmed.

Zika cases over time

The first confirmed case of Zika in Singapore occurred in May 2016 after a Singapore permanent resident man returned from travelling in Brazil. It was an isolated incident.

The second confirmed case was locally transmitted and marked the beginning of Singapore's first locally-transmitted outbreak of the virus.

Cumulative cases

New cases

Zika in South-east Asia

Almost all countries in South-east Asia have reported Zika cases. As of June 2016, active transmission was only reported in some provinces of Thailand.

Sporadic transmission, of fewer than 10 cases a week in the last eight weeks, have been reported in Indonesia and Vietnam as well as other areas of Thailand.

Zika-affected countries around the world

The Zika virus, first detected in Africa in the 1940s, was unknown in the Americas until last year when it appeared in north-eastern Brazil. The virus has quickly spread through Latin America.

What is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is transmitted via mosquitoes, similar to dengue. It was first discovered in a Ugandan forest in 1947 and spread throughout the tropical regions of Africa and Asia.

It is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are mild and similar to related mosquito-borne diseases, leading the US Centre for Disease Control to believe many cases have been left unrecorded.

This also explains why it took almost two years for the disease to be identified as Zika in Brazil in May 2015.

How does it spread?

Zika landed in Latin America last year and has spread across virtually the whole region via Aedes aegypti mosquitoes - the same mosquitoes which carry dengue.

It can be transferred from mother to baby, causing some countries to warn women to avoid getting pregnant as the virus has been blamed for causing birth defects, like microcephaly.

The virus can also be transferred through sexual intercourse.

What are the symptoms?

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.

How does Zika affect your health?

Mounting evidence has revealed a strong correlation between Zika infection during pregnancy and serious birth defects such as microcephaly and, even in a small number of cases, stillbirths.

How can it be treated?

There is currently no vaccine available so only the symptoms can be treated.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Do the 5-step mozzie wipeout to keep the mosquitoes from breeding.

According to MOH, if you are pregnant:

  1. You should reconsider your travel plans to areas with local transmission of Zika virus. If you need to travel to affected countries, you should undertake strict precautions against mosquito bites.
  2. Take steps to prevent mosquito bites by wearing long, covered clothing, applying insect-repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire-mesh screens or air-conditioned rooms to keep out mosquitoes.
  3. Pregnant women should consult a doctor if they develop a fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes during their trip or within two weeks after visiting an area where Zika has been reported.

More questions about Zika?

All you need to know about the Zika virus and the threat it poses, The Straits Times

Zika virus FAQs, Ministry of Health

For full coverage, go to The Straits Times' microsite on Zika.

*The total number of cases includes the first imported case of Zika diagnosed in May 2016.
Source: Ministry of Health, National Environment Agency, Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, BCC, Reuters, Cell Stem Cell Journal
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