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Maldives urges caution after rise in Singapore Zika cases

Mohamed Visham
01 September 2016, MVT 13:02
Singapore's Zika outbreak escalated September 1 after Malaysia said one of its citizens returned infected from the city-state as the government expanded its fumigation drive to a new area identified as a potential cluster for the virus. / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN
Mohamed Visham
01 September 2016, MVT 13:02

Maldives health agency on Wednesday urged caution for locals over the increasing Zika reports in Singapore.

The number of confirmed Zika cases in Singapore surged past 100 late Wednesday, including the first pregnant woman to be infected by the disease which can cause deformities in babies.

Health Protection Agency (HPA) in a statement urged caution for locals when travelling to Singapore which remains a popular destination for holidaymakers.

HPA also said preventive measures are being taken with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Malaysia on Thursday reported its first suspected case of Zika, a 58-year-old woman believed to have contracted it in neighbouring Singapore.

The Malaysian woman had made a brief trip in late August to visit her daughter, who lives in Singapore and has already been confirmed as having the Zika virus, Malaysia's health ministry said in a statement.

After returning to her home near the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, the 58-year-old woman fell ill and was diagnosed with "suspected" zika, based on a urine test. Full confirmation via blood tests is pending.

"The source of infection is suspected to have occurred in Singapore," the statement said.

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.

Maldivian authorities have also stepped up efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.


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