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Singapore authorities heighten vigilance as Zika signals persist in Boon Lay Place

Singapore closely monitors Boon Lay Place for Zika. Vigilance urged as MOH and NEA enhance measures.



SINGAPORE: Singapore authorities are closely monitoring Boon Lay Place for potential Zika transmission, as enhanced surveillance through mosquito and wastewater testing has revealed persistent Zika virus signals in the area.

This suggests ongoing Zika transmission, according to a joint statement from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) on 22 February.

The presence of one Zika case reported in December 2023 at Boon Lay Place has prompted authorities to step up precautionary control measures.

“While MOH and NEA have stepped up precautionary control measures, we cannot rule out the possibility of further cases as most infected persons may display mild or no symptoms,” stated the joint statement.

In response, MOH has alerted doctors to be vigilant and test for Zika among patients with clinically compatible symptoms, particularly those residing or working in the Boon Lay area.

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

Symptoms of Zika virus infection include rashes, fever, joint pain, muscle pain, headache, and conjunctivitis (red eye).

Residents experiencing these symptoms are urged to seek medical attention and inform their doctors of their residence and workplace.

Similar to the dengue virus, Zika virus infection is primarily transmitted by the Aedes mosquito.

While Zika is generally a mild and self-limiting disease, it can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus or through sexual contact.

However, most people infected with the Zika virus infection may not develop symptoms.

Although rare, Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly in unborn babies of pregnant women.

There are no vaccines or specific anti-viral drugs against Zika virus infection.

Preventive measures against mosquito bites, known as the ‘S-A-W’ actions, are advised for residents, especially those in Zika and dengue cluster areas:

S: Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house
A: Apply insect repellent regularly, with DEET, picaridin or IR3535 as the active ingredient
W: Wear long-sleeve tops and long pants

Other measures include enclosing rooms or installing wire-mesh mosquito screens to prevent mosquito entry into homes.

Residents diagnosed with Zika virus infection are advised to take precautions to prevent further spread, such as practising safe sex or abstaining from sex for at least three months after recovery for men, and two months for women before trying to conceive.

“Everyone must continue to maintain vigilance and play a part in preventing further transmission through eradicating mosquito breeding habitats at both premises and immediate surroundings,” it said.

Since November 2023, NEA has been conducting intensive vector control operations in the Boon Lay area, including indoor spraying of insecticides at residential premises, inspection, and larviciding.

Residents are urged to cooperate with NEA officers for inspections and immediate mosquito control measures.

As part of ongoing dengue control efforts, NEA officers and community leaders are conducting outreach activities to raise awareness of both dengue and Zika prevention measures.

These efforts emphasize the importance of source reduction to prevent mosquito breeding and advise residents to apply repellent as a precaution.

For the latest health advisory on Zika, individuals are directed to refer to MOH’s webpage on Zika (, and for information on Zika cases and clusters, NEA’s website ( is recommended.

(Courtesy of National Environment Agency)

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