Zika Virus Update: Singapore Confirms Eight Pregnant Women Are Infected; WHO Concerned About Spread Of Disease In Southeast Asia

Zika virus continues to spread in Southeast Asia and as per the latest report, eight pregnant women are infected in Singapore. Singapore confirmed that there is a total of 329 Zika cases in the country making the World Health Organization (WHO) worry about the matter.

Reuters reported that the Singaporean government, the doctors, the Ministry of Health and, the National Environment Agency are providing close support and counseling to the patients infected with the virus. In the latest report about Zika virus in Singapore, it was tallied that there were 11 new cases on Sunday of the locally-transmitted Zika virus.

Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947, but it became known in the United States only in 2014. In the U.S., the most hit state is Florida where numbers of home-grown Zika cases have been steadily increasing since then.

The virus, however, is still affecting large parts of the Caribbean and Latin America. Singapore reported its first ever locally-infected Zika patient on August 27.

Redrico Ofrin, the WHO regional emergencies director for Southeast Asia, said that countries in the area should carry out effective surveillance and reporting systems in order to monitor the spread of the disease, Voice of America reported.

He added, "WHO is working with countries across the South East Asia region to continue to prevent, detect and respond to the Zika virus transmission." The other South East Asian countries affected are Malaysia and Thailand.

A person who contracted Zika will experience mild symptoms such as fever, rashes, and muscle pains. However, for pregnant women, the effects are all the more impactful. The babies of the mothers who had Zika while pregnant causes the infant to have microcephaly. This is a severe birth defect wherein the brains and the heads of the babies affected are undersized. It also rarely causes an infrequent neurological syndrome called Guillain-Barre in adults.

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