Boon Lay Place being monitored for potential Zika transmission, residents urged to protect themselves

Boon Lay Place being monitored for potential Zika transmission, residents should watch their health

Authorities monitoring Boon Lay Place for potential Zika transmission

Authorities said on Thursday (22 Feb) that they are closely monitoring Boon Lay Place for potential Zika transmission after testing revealed persistent virus signals in the area.

This comes a few months after a single Zika case was reported there in December 2023.

Source: Google Maps

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has called for doctors to test for Zika among patients who exhibit symptoms, especially if they work or live in Boon Lay.

Residents should also monitor their health and seek medical attention if they start having symptoms.

Zika virus signals found in Boon Lay Place

On Thursday (22 Feb), MOH and the National Environment Agency (NEA) issued a joint press release saying that they are monitoring Boon Lay Place for possible Zika transmission.

They noted that there was one Zika case in the area in December last year.

Although there have been no other cases since then, mosquito and wastewater testing found “persistent Zika virus signals” that suggest an ongoing transmission in the area.

A map showing the areas with likely Zika transmission includes Boon Lay Shopping Centre, Boon Lay Place Market & Food Village, and housing areas along Boon Lay Avenue and Corporation Road.

While MOH and NEA have ramped up precautionary measures, they warned that they cannot rule out the possibility of more cases.

This is because people who have been infected may display mild or no symptoms.

Residents urged to monitor their health

As a result, doctors have been alerted to be vigilant and test patients for Zika should they have clinically compatible symptoms.

Symptoms of Zika include:

  • Rashes
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Conjunctivitis (red eye)

However, most people do not develop any symptoms at all.

Residents in and around Boon Lay Place, especially pregnant women, are also advised to protect themselves and monitor their health closely.

The virus can cause microcephaly — a birth defect where the child’s head is smaller than expected — in unborn babies, although this is rare.

If you find yourself displaying the symptoms above, you should seek medical attention immediately.

You should also let your doctor know the location of your workplace and residence.

Take steps to protect yourself

The Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.

Source: CDC/James Gathany on Canva, for illustration purposes only

It can also be spread from a pregnant woman to her foetus or through sexual intercourse.

At the moment, there aren’t any vaccines or specific anti-viral drugs for treating a Zika infection.

MOH and NEA have reminded residents, especially those in Zika and dengue cluster areas, to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

They can do this by installing wire-mesh mosquito screens at home and practising the ‘S-A-W’ actions:

  • Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house
  • Apply insect repellent regularly
  • Wear long pants and tops with long sleeves

Men with a Zika virus infection should practise safe sex or abstain from sex for at least three months after recovery to avoid transmitting it.

Infected women should also practise safe sex or abstain from sex for at least two months after recovery before trying to conceive.

In May last year, several cases of Zika were reported in Kovan, less than a year after it last emerged in Singapore.

You can visit MOH’s website for the latest Zika health advisory and NEA’s website for information on Zika cases and clusters.

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Featured image adapted from Google Maps and nechaev-kon from Getty Images on Canva, for illustration purposes only.

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