What pregnant women should do
The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Clinical Advisory Group on Zika virus infection and pregnancy advise all pregnant women in Singapore with symptoms of Zika, as well as those with male partners who are Zika-positive, to be tested for Zika virus infection.
This is regardless of whether they have been to Zika-affected areas.
Symptoms of Zika include a fever and rashes, and other signs such as red eyes or joint pains.
Testing for pregnant women as referred by their doctors, and who meet these criteria, is free at public healthcare institutions.
According to the advisory sent out by MOH yesterday, if a pregnant patient is confirmed positive for Zika, she will be referred to a maternal-foetal medicine specialist for counselling and advice.
Obstetricians and gynaecologists may recommend regular ultrasound scans to monitor for foetal growth and abnormalities.
MOH will also arrange for the pregnant woman to be admitted to a public hospital for further management and care if necessary.
Amniotic fluid testing for Zika may be offered to the pregnant woman after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
MOH also said it was important to note that a positive Zika test did not mean that the foetus is infected or harmed as the estimated risk of microcephaly associated with the Zika virus infection during pregnancy can vary widely.
Besides preventing mosquito bites through precautionary measures, women with confirmed Zika virus infections should abstain from sexual intercourse for at least eight weeks after recovery.
Men with confirmed Zika virus infections, but whose female partner is not pregnant, should also adopt safe sexual practices.
Pregnant women who are concerned about their pregnancy should consult their doctor for advice.
For more information, visit www.moh.gov.sg/zika