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Zika cases hit 215 on Sat, as analysis shows Asian lineage of virus in S'pore

SINGAPORE — An analysis of the Zika virus found in two patients from the Aljunied Cresent/ Sims Drive cluster showed that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in South-east Asia, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

Zika cases hit 215 on Sat, as analysis shows Asian lineage of virus in S'pore

Thermal fogging carried out in drains near the Zika virus infection cluster at Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive area on September 1, 2016. Photo: Nuria Ling/TODAY

SINGAPORE — An analysis of the Zika virus found in two patients from the Aljunied Cresent/ Sims Drive cluster showed that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in South-east Asia, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The virus from these patients was not imported from South America, the MOH added of the finding concluded by the National Public Health Laboratory and A*STAR’s Bioinformatics Institute after completing genetic sequencing of the virus.

In MOH's latest update, 26 new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection in Singapore have been confirmed as of 12pm on Saturday (Sept 3), bringing the total number of cases to 215.

Of these, 24 cases are linked to the the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive/ Kallang Way/ Paya Lebar Way cluster. 

Two cases have no known links to any existing cluster, said the MOH.

The Republic announced its first locally contracted case of Zika last Saturday.

The Aedes mosquito-borne Zika, which has been detected in 67 countries and territories including hard-hit Brazil, causes only mild symptoms for most people such as fever and a rash.

But pregnant women who catch it can give birth to babies with microcephaly, a deformation marked by abnormally small brains and heads.

Malaysia on Saturday confirmed its first locally transmitted case of Zika infection in a man living in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah.

This comes two days after the first case on Malaysian soil was reported in a woman who is believed to have contracted it while visiting her daughter in neighbouring Singapore. WITH AFP

Zika in Singapore: Numbers at a glance
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