THE Philippine Embassy in Singapore has advised Filipinos to take precautionary measures to minimize the risk of being infected with the Zika virus.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported more cases of locally-transmitted Zika infection, bringing the cases to 56, mostly in the Aljunied Crescent or Sims Drive area.
In an advisory posted on its official Facebook account, the Philippine Embassy urged Filipinos living in the affected areas, especially pregnant women, to monitor their health. They should seek medical attention if they have fever and rashes.
Sexual partners of pregnant women were also advised to practice safe sex or consider abstinence throughout the term of pregnancy.
The mosquito-borne flavivirus causes only mild symptoms for most people, such as fever and a rash. But in pregnant women, it can cause microcephaly, a deformation in which babies are born with abnormally small brains and heads.
Filipinos were also urged to observe preventive measures like using insect repellants, installing windows and door screens and wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants.
The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) had said it is closely monitoring and testing sea and air travelers who are symptomatic or indicating signs of the infection “to make sure that the virus will not get into our shores or possible spread will be controlled ahead.”
Singapore, despite being regarded for having highest health care standards in Southeast Asia and cleanest city in Asia, is a densely populated tropical island with frequent rain. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water that collects in construction sites, open space and homes. MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO