Science

Zika Cases in Singapore Rise Over The Weekend: Report

By Angela Laguipo , Sep 19, 2016 12:39 PM EDT

Health officials confirmed a total of 12 new cases of the dreaded Zika virus in Singapore over the weekend. This increased the total number of confirmed cases to 381, up from 369 cases on Friday, Sept. 16, the National Environment Agency (NEA) reports.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, there were no additional confirmed cases of the virus. The agency said that the new cases of Zika emerged from Hougang Ave. 7, Block 325, Elite Terrace area in Siglap and main Aljunied/Sims Drive cluster, which has the largest number of confirmed cases at 286.

Zika virus, which has been linked to various health complications like microcephaly among infants born to Zika virus-positive mothers, emerged in an outbreak in Brazil last year. Unfortunately, Singapore has seen the sudden surge of locally-transmitted Zika virus in the country over the past two months. New cases also emerged in neighboring Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

In the Philippines, health officials confirmed two more locally-transmitted Zika virus cases in Iloilo, after a 45-year-old woman was previously tested to have the virus. Though all three patients have since recovered from the disease and none of them was found to be pregnant, health officials still issued preventive warnings to residents especially in the area affected.

The country has reported four other cases since January but the patients were Korean and American tourists.

On the other hand, Malaysia confirmed two new cases of the virus last week. The two new patients were siblings, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to six.

Zika virus, which was linked to microcephaly, is less life-threatening than dengue fever or Yellow fever. In fact, it's considered a mild illness that goes away on its own. However, its association with certain complications that have emerged in Brazil and neighboring countries has jolted the world and the medical society. It has contributed to the sudden surge of microcephaly cases among infants and Guillain-Barre syndrome among adults in Brazil last year. 

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