Possibility of secondary infection from imported Zika case remains: NEA, MOH

Although the first known Zika patient in Singapore has been discharged from hospital and now tests negative for the virus, the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency say there remains the possibility of secondary infection resulting from the Watten Estate case until Jun 23.
Channel NewsAsia 20 May 16;

SINGAPORE: Although the first Zika patient has been discharged from hospital, there remains the possibility of secondary infection resulting from the first imported case that occurred in the Watten Estate area until Jun 23, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement on Friday (May 20).

MOH and NEA added that there was a need to remain vigilant. "The six-week period from the date of isolation of the infected patient takes into account the maximum incubation period of Zika, lifespan of the Aedes mosquito and possible delays by infected people in seeking medical attention.

"Even after 23 June, we will still need to remain vigilant for the possibility of new imported cases," the agencies added.

The Zika patient had been to Sao Paulo, Brazil and developed fever and rash shortly after his return to Singapore. The 48-year-old man was diagnosed with the infection on May 13 and treated at the Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He was discharged on Tuesday after making a full recovery, and now tests negative for Zika.


NEA added that as of 18 May, it has completed inspections of more than 700 premises in the areas around Watten Estate, where the Zika patient lives. The agency also destroyed a total of 43 breeding habitats. Of these, 28 were found in homes and 15 in common areas, the environment agency said. NEA said it also deployed over 100 Gravitraps in the area to monitor the Aedes mosquito population in the vicinity to guide any subsequent vector control efforts needed.

It also said that only one of about 150 premises that were served with Section 35 of the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act (CVPA) remains to be inspected, and arrangements have been made to inspect the remaining home on Friday.

NEA said that it will continue to keep the area under surveillance, after the intensive vector control efforts in the first 14 days from the confirmation of the imported case, for as long as there continues to be a risk of Zika transmission in the area.

- CNA/mz