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Zika Virus: Information

What is Zika Virus?

The Zika virus infection in humans has been reported since the 1950s. It is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, identical to dengue. Zika is generally a mild disease and most people infected with the Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms. There is no vaccine or specific anti-viral drugs. 

Symptoms of Zika

80% of the people infected by the Zika virus do not develop symptoms (Sunday Times, 28 Aug 2016, p A3)

For those who do, they usually show signs within 3 to 12 days after the mosquito bite. The symptoms often last between 4 to 7 days. (Ministry of Health)

Differences between Zika , Dengue and Chikugunya virus

  • The symptoms for dengue are higher fever compared to Zika and more severe muscle pain. There can be complications when the fever breaks. Attention should be paid to warning signs such as bleeding. 

  • Chikungunya also has symptoms of higher fever and more intense joint pain, affecting the hands, feet, knees, and back. It can disable people, bending them over so that they cannot walk or perform simple actions such as opening a water bottle. 

  • Zika does not have clearly characteristic features, but most patients have skin rashes and some have conjunctivitis. 

Transmission of the Zika virus

Aedes mosquito bites a person infected with the Zika virus. This infected mosquito bites another person and transmits the virus. If the person infected with the Zika virus is a pregnant lady, transmission of the virus from mother to baby happens.

What can you do?

To minimise the risk of further spread of Zika in Singapore, it is critical that all of us as a community take immediate steps to prevent mosquito breeding in our homes and community:

1.Do the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout to prevent the Aedes mosquito from breeding at home. Cooperate with the National Environment Agency (NEA), and allow its officers to inspect your premises for mosquito breeding and to spray insecticide to kill any mosquitoes. 

  • Refer to NEA Mozzie Wipeout:

For information on how to prevent mosquito breeding in high-rise and landed housing, click here

Besides the 5 steps, other preventive actions can also be found here

2.Protect yourself from mosquito bites by applying insect repellent regularly

■ Read the instructions on the label and always use the product as directed.

■ Apply repellent only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label) when necessary. Do not use repellent under clothing.

■ Never use repellent over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.

■ When using sprays, do not spray directly onto face. Spray on your hands first and then apply to the face.

If you developed a rash or other bad reactions from the insect repellent, you must stop using it; wash the repellent off with mild soap and water and see a doctor if necessary.

3.Consult a doctor if you have these following symptoms: Fever , Rashes, Joint pains/Muscle Pain/Headaches, Conjunctivitis

4.Share what you know about Zika with family and friends