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Zika Outbreak in Singapore Alarms Region

Zika is likely to spread to other areas of Southeast Asia but to what level is difficult to predict.Zika is likely to spread to other areas of Southeast Asia but to what level is difficult to predict.

Seventeen new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection in Singapore were confirmed on September 6 by the country’s Ministry of Health, raising the tally to 275 cases since the outbreak on August 27.

The sudden spike in one of the cleanest countries in the Southeast Asian region has raised concerns of possible spread to its densely populated neighbors as well as west Asia, although local transmission of Zika by the Aedes aegypti mosquito has only been reported in Indonesia and Thailand.

Zika is likely to spread to other areas of Southeast Asia but to what level is difficult to predict, according to a new study published in the British journal of Lancet Infectious Diseases.

China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as Bangladesh, India, Nigeria and Pakistan, are expected to be at greatest risk of Zika virus transmission.

“Local transmission in any area is related to the presence of mosquitoes that can transmit the virus, which are present in Singapore and are the same ones that can transmit the dengue virus,” says Irani Thevarajan, an infectious diseases physician based at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne.

In February, head of the Management Center for Infectious Diseases at Iran’s Health Ministry, Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, had assured that chances of the Zika virus coming to Iran are very low because an efficient healthcare system has been tracking the Aedes mosquito for four years.

However, since the mosquito is found in some of our neighboring countries, and there is a chance of human-to-human transmission, “it is essential that we continue with our preventive measures,” he stressed.

 

Financialtribune.com