Singapore urges tests for pregnant women with Zika signs
Singapore urged all pregnant women showing symptoms of fever or rashes to have themselves tested for the Zika virus today after the number of cases in the city-state soared to 82.
Environment agency workers stepped up efforts to eradicate mosquitoes that spread the disease, expanding a fumigation campaign centred on the “ground zero” of the outbreak, the eastern suburb of Aljunied. As infections climbed, they blasted a district of warehouses and industrial buildings to destroy breeding sites that fuelled the outbreak, which began at a construction site housing foreign workers. Zika, which has been detected in 58 countries including hardest-hit Brazil, causes only mild symptoms for most people, such as fever and a rash. But in pregnant women, it can cause microcephaly, a deformation in which babies are born with abnormally small brains and heads. The health ministry said that “all pregnant women in Singapore with symptoms of Zika – fever and rash and other symptoms such as red eyes or joint pain” should be tested for infection. Pregnant women with male partners who have been tested positive were also told to visit their doctors. “We advise pregnant women to undertake strict precautions against mosquito bites and seek medical attention immediately if they become symptomatic,” the ministry said in a statement late yesterday.