Singapore

Zika patient had minimal contact with others

The first person in Singapore to contract the Zika virus mostly stayed home and had minimal contact with the public between his return from Brazil and his admission to hospital, the Health Ministry said yesterday.

The 48-year-old permanent resident returned on May 7 from a business trip to Sao Paolo in Brazil, where there is an outbreak of the virus.

He did not go to work between May 7 and May 12, the day he was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and isolated.

The man also did not take public transport to the hospital, reducing the chances that a mosquito might have bitten him, then bitten someone else nearby and spread the virus.

Fumigation and checks for mosquitoes are under way for 800 homes in and around Watten Estate, where he lives.

White fumes cloaked the estate yesterday morning as the National Environment Agency (NEA) stepped up efforts to stamp out mosquitoes in the area around his home in Bukit Timah.

At a press briefing, NEA said it checked 35 premises in the area for mosquito breeding sites on Friday.

It found seven sites - three in public areas and four in homes - and they were destroyed.

The agency has also distributed anti-mosquito flyers and insect repellent in the area.

NEA will be serving notices to those who live on premises which its officers could not access, to arrange appointments for inspections.

The agency said it may need to enter inaccessible premises by force from early next week if residents do not respond.

The authorities have asked residents of Watten Estate, Casa Perla, Hillcrest Arcadia, The Arcadia and Watten Hill Condominium to monitor their health and seek medical help if they develop fever and rash.

Zika is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. It causes mostly mild symptoms but is linked to birth defects in newborns if women contract it during pregnancy.

Zika VirusSingaporecontactbrazilMinistry of HealthAedes mosquito