Photo from Wong Kwai Chow The Straits Times

The deadly Zika virus has hit Singapore with the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirming 41 victims as of Sunday (Aug 28). With symptoms similar to dengue like muscle aches and fever, the Zika virus is highly infectious and can be easily transmitted via an infected Aedes mosquito, and vice-versa, an Aedes mosquito can be infected by sucking on the blood of a Zika virus carrier host. Aedes mosquitoes are a very common genre of mosquitoes with distinctive black and white markings on its body.

According to the MOH, vicinities around Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive are blacklisted for the breeding of Zika-carrying mosquitoes. Since detection and recovery takes weeks, the MOH tacitly admitted they covered up the news of the virus spread by claiming that “34 has recovered fully” as of yesterday (Aug 28). MOH however announced its “first victim”, a Malaysian lady working in Singapore, only on Friday (Aug 27).

Other areas which might have Zika-infected mosquitoes include Khatib Camp, Sembawang Drive; Kranji Road, Joo Chiat Place, Senoko South Road, Toh Guan Road East and Lorong 101 Changi. All areas are workplaces or housing locations of the infected.

Transmissions are highlighted to be local as none of the victims visited Zika-hit countries like Brazil. In their media statement, MOH said that they could not rule out other areas that might have Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

The National Environment Agency is stepping up on mosquito fogging operations around the country.