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Expat Exchange - Zika Virus in Singapore
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Marina Bay, Singapore


Zika Virus in Singapore

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: The mosquito-borne Zika Virus is a p for people living in Singapore. It's especially important for pregnant women to understand the risks of getting Zika during pregnancy. Learn how to limit your exposure and what to do if you get Zika.

In Singapore, residents face concerns related to the Zika Virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Pregnant women, in particular, need to be aware of the risks associated with contracting Zika during their pregnancy. Discover ways to minimize exposure and steps to take if you contract the virus.

The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease, has been a significant health concern in various parts of the world, including Singapore. This article aims to provide comprehensive information about the Zika virus in Singapore, its symptoms, prevalence, and its impact on specific demographics such as pregnant women and the elderly. It also offers insights into preventive measures, particularly for expats, and what to do if one contracts the virus.

What is Zika Virus?

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease primarily transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, the same species responsible for dengue and chikungunya. Symptoms typically include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and headache, lasting for 2-7 days. However, many people infected with Zika virus won't have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The long-lasting effects of Zika are still under study, but it has been linked to neurological complications such as Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults and microcephaly in newborns if the mother was infected during pregnancy.

Where is Zika Most Prevalent in Singapore?

Zika virus was first reported in Singapore in 2016, with the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area being the most affected. Since then, sporadic cases have been reported across the island. The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore maintains a close watch on the situation and regularly updates the public about the areas with active Zika virus transmission. It's important to note that the prevalence of Zika can change rapidly, and it's crucial to stay updated with the latest information from health authorities.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Zika virus poses a significant risk to pregnant women as it can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, a condition where a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development. Pregnant women in Singapore, especially those living in or traveling to areas with Zika virus transmission, are advised to take preventive measures against mosquito bites and seek immediate medical attention if they develop symptoms suggestive of Zika virus infection.

How do Expats in Singapore Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Expats in Singapore can take several measures to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of Zika virus infection. These include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using mosquito repellents, staying in places with air conditioning or window and door screens, and removing standing water where mosquitoes can breed. The NEA also conducts regular inspections and fogging operations to control the mosquito population and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

What if I get Zika Virus in Singapore?

If you suspect that you have contracted the Zika virus in Singapore, it's crucial to seek medical attention immediately. The healthcare system in Singapore is well-equipped to diagnose and manage Zika virus infection. Treatment is mainly supportive, including rest, rehydration, and medication for fever and pain. Patients are also advised to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness to prevent further transmission of the virus.

Is Zika Virus Contagious?

Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus, through sexual contact, and possibly through blood transfusion. However, it's not spread directly from person to person through casual contact. Therefore, while the virus is contagious in certain circumstances, the risk of transmission can be significantly reduced with appropriate preventive measures.

Is Zika Virus More Dangerous for Children, Elderly, or Immune-Compromised?

While Zika virus infection is typically mild in most people, certain groups may be at higher risk for severe or complicated illness. This includes individuals with weakened immune systems and the elderly who may have underlying health conditions. However, the most significant risk is to unborn babies, as infection during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects. Regardless of age or health status, it's crucial for everyone to take preventive measures against Zika virus.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

Marina Bay, Singapore

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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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