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Zika virus infection is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is also a known carrier of the dengue and Chikungunya viruses.
Zika is generally a mild disease, less serious than dengue. It may cause a mild fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle or joint pain, and headache. The majority of people infected with Zika will not show symptoms.
However, Zika virus infection may sometimes cause microcephaly in a small number of unborn foetuses of pregnant women. Microcephaly is a congenital condition that manifests itself as birth defects in which a baby is born with significantly smaller heads than usual.
At the moment, there is no vaccine to prevent Zika infection. Treatment is solely focused on relieving the symptoms, and patients recover within 4 to 7 days. Those infected are advised to get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain with common painkillers.
MOH FAQs on Zika Virus
What you need to know about the Zika Virus
For other languages: Mandarin | Malay | Tamil
For pregnant women:
- Testing is not routinely recommended for pregnant women who do not have symptoms of Zika and whose male partners are not Zika-positive.
- If you are pregnant and have symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, red eyes, joint pain, etc.), or have male partners who are Zika positive, you should be tested for the Zika virus
- Testing for pregnant women as referred by their doctors and who meet the above criteria is free at public healthcare institutions.
- When a pregnant patient is confirmed to have Zika infection, she will be referred to a maternal-foetal medicine specialist for counselling and advice.
- A positive Zika test does not mean that the foetus is infected or harmed.
- If your male partner has or is at risk of Zika infection (e.g. living/ working/ studying in an affected area), he should practise safe sex (e.g. consistent and correct use of condoms during sex) or consider abstinence for the duration of the pregnancy.
- For more information, you can refer to MOH’s guidelines for pregnant women.
For the general population:
- Singaporeans with Zika symptoms will get subsidised testing at public healthcare institutions.
- If you develop symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, red eyes, joint pain, etc.), please seek medical attention and inform your doctor of the location of your residence and workplace.
- Do the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout to prevent mosquitoes from breeding at home.
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What is the Singapore Government doing?
Screening and remaining alert
All GPs, polyclinics and hospitals have been alerted and are to immediately report patients with symptoms associated with Zika virus infection to MOH. MOH and NEA will also alert residents in the vicinity to seek medical attention should they develop symptoms.
NEA has intensified vector control operations to control the Aedes mosquito population. Vector control operations include:
- Inspecting all premises, ground and congregation areas
- Conducting mandatory treatment such as ultra-low volume misting of premises and thermal fogging of outdoor areas to kill adult mosquitoes
- Increasing frequency of drain flushing and oiling to prevent breeding
- Public education outreach and distribution of insect repellents
NEA will also be activating partner agencies of the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force to step up localised search and destroy efforts in their respective areas.
How can I protect my family?
Do the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout to prevent the Aedes mosquito from breeding at home. Cooperate with the NEA, and allow its officers to inspect your premises for mosquito breeding and spraying insecticide to kill mosquitoes. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by applying insect repellent regularly.
What you should know about the Zika virus
What you should know about the Zika virus (Mandarin)
What you should know about the Zika virus (Malay)
What you should know about the Zika virus (Tamil)
Pregnant? Here's what you should know
Pregnant? Here's what you should know (Mandarin)
Pregnant? Here's what you should know (Malay)
Pregnant? Here's what you should know (Tamil)
What you can do to protect your loved ones
Fight Zika and dengue (English and Malay)
Fight Zika and dengue (Mandarin and Tamil)
Where are the Zika clusters in Singapore?
How did one case of Zika infection increase to 41 within a day?