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Protect yourself against Zika virus infection
On 28 August 2016, MOH confirmed localised community spread of Zika virus infection in Singapore. Given that the Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito vector, MOH cannot rule out further community transmission in Singapore, since some of those tested positive also live or work in other parts of Singapore. As such, vector control remains the mainstay in reducing the spread of Zika.
Zika is generally a mild disease. It may cause a viral fever similar to dengue or chikungunya, with fever, skin rashes, body aches, and headache. But many people infected with the Zika virus infection do not even develop symptoms.
Pregnant women with symptoms of possible Zika virus infection (fever and rash and other symptoms such as red eyes or joint pain) should seek medical attention immediately and consult their Obstetrics and Gynecology doctor.
Men who are confirmed positive for Zika should practise safer sex through the correct and consistent use of condoms or abstain from sexual intercourse for at least six months after recovery.
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While there is currently no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get Zika virus infection, the consequences can be more serious if a pregnant woman is infected, as the Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly in a small number of unborn foetuses of pregnant women.
Pregnant women should adopt strict precautions against mosquitoes. Individuals working, studying or living in an affected area who are sexual partners of pregnant women should adopt safe sexual practices (e.g. consistent and correct use of condoms during sex) or consider abstinence throughout the women’s pregnancy. Pregnant women who have had sexual intercourse with their male partner who tested positive for Zika should consult a doctor and inform him/her of possible exposure to Zika so that he/she can arrange for Zika testing.
WHO’s May 2016 guidelines do not recommend routine Zika testing for asymptomatic pregnant women. If you are concerned, you should discuss further with your doctor.
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They should take strict precautions against mosquito bites, and if they have further questions, consult their doctor.
She should seek medical attention promptly, and if confirmed positive for Zika, she should practise safer sexual practices or abstain from sexual intercourse for at least 8 weeks after recovery, before trying to conceive.
He should seek medical attention promptly, and if confirmed positive for Zika, he should practise safer sex through the correct and consistent use of condoms or abstain from sexual intercourse for at least six months after recovery.
Vector control remains the mainstay in reducing the spread of Zika. Like dengue fever, to prevent the spread of the virus, we must first prevent the breeding of its vector, the Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is easily identifiable by the distinctive black and white stripes on its body. It prefers to breed in clean, stagnant water easily found in our homes. To prevent breeding of the Aedes mosquito, we need to frequently check and remove stagnant water in our homes.
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This article was last reviewed on
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