Burmese Citizen Infected With Zika Virus in Singapore

By The Irrawaddy 2 September 2016

RANGOON — The Burmese embassy in Singapore confirmed on Friday that a Burmese citizen is infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Over 150 cases of Zika were reported in Singapore by Thursday; among them were 57 are foreigners, including 10 nationals of Bangladesh, 23 from China, 15 from India, six from Malaysia, and one each from Indonesia, Burma and Taiwan, Channel News Asia reported.

The Burmese embassy in Singapore said in a statement released on Friday that the country’s Ministry of Health had been informed that a Burmese citizen was diagnosed with the virus on August 30. The patient’s condition has since improved and they are being closely monitored.

The embassy also recommended pregnant women and women intending to be pregnant temporarily postpone travels to Singapore. The symptoms of Zika infection are generally mild, although in pregnant women it can cause brain malformations and other defects in unborn children. There are no vaccines or specific treatments.

Burma’s Ministry of Health said that since the Zika epidemic began in Brazil in 2015, they have been taking precautionary measures in the country and screening passengers for fever when arriving at airports and ports.

Regionally, the Zika outbreak has also been reported in Thailand and Malaysia. The virus has been known to occur largely in tropical regions of Africa and Asia, and is related to dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever.