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    May 16, 2016

    NEA steps up search-and-destroy efforts in wake of Zika case

    THE National Environment Agency (NEA) has destroyed more than 30 mosquito breeding sites and inspected more than 500 premises in Watten Estate and its surrounding

    areas over the last two days.

    On the sidelines of an event yesterday, Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources as well as Health, provided an update on ongoing vector control efforts by the authorities.

    Singapore's first confirmed Zika case was announced on Friday, as a 48-year-old man tested positive for the virus after travelling to Sao Paulo, Brazil, on a business trip. He resides in Watten Estate.

    He has been transferred to the Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and is recovering well, said Dr Khor. She added that the patient, a Singapore permanent resident, will remain in isolation until tests show that he is free from the Zika virus.

    "The idea is really to prevent him from getting mosquito bites and mitigating local transmission," she added.

    Symptoms of the Zika virus are similar to dengue, but milder, and include fever, rashes and joint and muscle aches.

    Preliminary research has led the World Health Organization to conclude it can cause microcephaly - or abnormally small heads - in unborn children, if mothers are infected.

    It also causes Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare condition in which a person's immune system attacks his nerves.

    Both Zika and dengue viruses are spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

    Dr Khor urged residents to remain vigilant in the fight against Zika and dengue.

    Those who experience symptoms such as rashes, after returning from Zika-affected countries, should consult a doctor.

    As most breeding sites are found in households, residents should also frequently check and remove stagnant pools of water.