Zika: Here’s what you need to know

The MOH released a detailed FAQ on Zika and pregnancy, tackling the concerns on Aug 30, 2016 in the wake of an outbreak of the virus in the Aljunied Crescent-Sims Drive area.

Are EEI properties near to Zika infected area?

Currently, the areas are concentrated on Aljunied and Sims Drive. We are not located in these areas or region.

We have also requested for fumigations at our areas with the respective authorities and provided free supply of anti-mosquito repellant to all our students.

Are there any tests that can be done to determine if one is infected with Zika?

Currently, the only reliable test is the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, which looks for genetic material of the virus in blood or urine.

However, the test is able to detect Zika infection in blood only within five to seven days of the onset of symptoms, and in urine within 14 days of onset. Therefore, the timeframe in which a person can be tested using RT-PCR is very short.

Currently, there is no reliable serological test (which looks for antibodies in the blood) for Zika.

Should I get a regular blood/urine tests for Zika, to make sure that I am not infected?

No, unless you have symptoms of a possible Zika infection such as fever and rash and other symptoms such as red eyes or joint pain.

Is it safe to use insect repellent?

Yes, insect repellents sold in Singapore are safe for use.

You can also prevent mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved clothing and long trousers, and sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire-mesh screens or in air-conditioned rooms to keep out mosquitoes.

If I have recently visited a Zika-affected area in Singapore, what should I do?

There is no need to see a doctor if you are well. You should continue to take strict precautions against mosquito bites. If you have symptoms of possible Zika virus infection, you should seek medical attention immediately, and consult your doctor.

If I live, work or study in a Zika-affected area in Singapore, what should I do?

You should take steps to prevent mosquito bites and consult a doctor if you develop a fever and rash and other symptoms such as red eyes or joint pain after possible exposure to Zika. You should tell the doctor where you live, work or study.