Rise in Zika cases

Beer promoter the only woman to get Zika virus here

The beer promoter who tested positive for the Zika virus works at this coffee shop in Block 45, Sims Drive. She has since recovered.
The beer promoter who tested positive for the Zika virus works at this coffee shop in Block 45, Sims Drive. She has since recovered.PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

A coffee shop beer promoter here has been confirmed as the only female case of Zika which has been transmitted locally.

The Straits Times understands that the woman works at Y2000 Beer Garden coffee shop in Block 45, Sims Drive.

According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the 47-year-old Malaysian - who has not been named - developed a fever, rash and conjunctivitis last Thursday.

She was referred to the Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she tested positive on Saturday.

She was hospitalised for observation, but has since recovered and been discharged.

A member of her household was also screened for Zika, but had no symptoms.

According to colleagues, she has been working at the coffee shop for about five years. She works from 3.30pm to 10.30pm daily except on Mondays. She took leave on Thursday when she felt unwell.

"On Thursday afternoon, she popped by to check out the beer stock," said drinks seller Zhang Jing, 31. "I saw that she had a lot of rashes all over her body, on her hands, her face and her legs. She also had a fever."

Another drinks seller said that the woman went to see a doctor at Sims Drive Medical Clinic, in Block 53, Sims Place.

She called on Friday to inform the management that she had a medical certificate, and that she needed someone to cover her shift.

Odd-job worker Francis Boy, 52, who meets his friends for drinks at the coffee shop regularly, said he noticed the beer promoter had not turned up at work since Thursday and was wondering where she had gone.

He was surprised to learn about her condition as he had met her at a Seventh Month dinner in the estate just last Wednesday.

"She was still healthy," he said. "She was still chatty and going from table to table, laughing."

Fabian Koh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2016, with the headline 'Beer promoter the only woman to get virus here'. Print Edition | Subscribe