SINGAPORE, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Singapore confirmed 26 new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection as of Saturday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) in a joint statement.
Saturday's update brought the total number of Zika infections in Singapore to 215. MOH said among these newly reported cases, 24 cases are linked to the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive/ Kallang Way/ Paya Lebar Way cluster. Two cases have no known links to any existing cluster.
The joint statement revealed National Public Health Laboratory has worked with A*STAR's Bioinformatics Institute to complete the sequencing analysis of the Zika virus found in two patients from the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive cluster.
The analysis found that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in Southeast Asia. The virus from these two patients was not imported from South America. The research team will release more details shortly.
Meanwhile, NEA has been continuing with vector control operations to control the Aedes mosquito population in Aljunied Crescent / Sims Drive / Paya Lebar Way / Kallang Way. As of Friday, 57 breeding habitats have been detected and destroyed.
Vector control operations and outreach efforts in Bedok North Avenue have also been continuing, said NEA. As of Friday, 26 breeding habitats have been detected and destroyed. Mosquito control measures are ongoing.
The government agency said indoor spraying of insecticides, outdoor fogging and oiling and flushing of drains are continuing in these two cluster areas.
In such areas with active transmission, outdoor fogging and indoor spraying and misting are both necessary because there may be infected by adult mosquitoes in both outdoor and indoor areas that need to be destroyed before they bite and infect more people.
For non-cluster areas, NEA said the most effective mosquito control measure for keeping mosquito population low is still source reduction, through detecting and removing breeding habitats and killing larvae, as it eliminates mosquitoes at the most vulnerable stage of their life cycle.
Community outreach activities over the country are ongoing, according to the joint statement. The government urge all residents to join in the collective efforts in the fight against Zika by doing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout, removing stagnant water and not littering.