Philippine Embassy in Singapore issues Zika virus advisory to Filipinos

The Ministry of Health in Singapore has confirmed a total number of 41 cases of the dreaded Zika virus infecion, particularly in the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area.

Due to the rising number of documented cases in Singapore, the Philippine Embassy urges Filipino Nationals to take all precautionary measures to minimize the risk of being infected with the Zikavirus. Per advice of the MOH, the following should be observed:

  • Those living in the affected areas especially pregnant women, should monitor their health. They should seek medical attention if they are unwell, especially with symptoms of fever and rash. Pregnant women should adopt strict mosquito precaution if travelling to affected areas.
  • Sexual partners of pregnant women should practice safe sex or consider abstinence throughout the women’s pregnancy.  Zika is typically spread through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, but evidence has been accumulating that it can also be transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusions.
  • To cooperate with the efforts of the National Environment Agency, especially in the conduct of inspections fogging and public education outreach; and
  • To regularly check the Singapore government’s webpage on Zika (www.moh.gov.sg/zika) for latest health advisories.

In addition, Filipinos are urged to observe the following general preventive measures:

  • Use insect repellants, windows and door screens;
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants;
  • Read up on the symptoms of Zika. Once you exhibit symptoms, go to the nearest hospital to have yourself voluntarily checked;
  • Health workers are encouraged to strictly comply with infection
    control protocols in their work place; and
  • If you have tested positive for Zika, inform the Philippine Embassy immediately (6737-3977 or 9072-2797) so that the Embassy can render appropriate assistance.

Zika virus has been feared to cause birth defects if pregnant women were infected.  The virus has been previously associated with microcephaly (unusually small heads) and underdeveloped brains in certain parts of South and Latin America.

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