Rise in Zika cases

Zika outbreak: How events unfolded

Sims Drive Medical Clinic notified the Health Ministry on Aug 22 after an unusual increase of cases with fever, rashes and joint pains.
Sims Drive Medical Clinic notified the Health Ministry on Aug 22 after an unusual increase of cases with fever, rashes and joint pains.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

MONDAY, AUG 22

Sims Drive Medical Clinic, having noticed an unusual increase in cases with fever, rashes and joint pains, notifies the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the evening.

TUESDAY

MOH officials visit the clinic and discuss the cases with a doctor there. The initial belief is that there is a cluster of a mild viral illness.

MOH makes arrangements for the clinic to refer new cases to the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) for testing, and to start tracing past cases.

Nearby clinics and supervisors of a nearby construction site are also told to increase vigilance and report cases to MOH.

THURSDAY

MOH asks the construction site's contractor for records of workers who had had fevers. Meanwhile, a 47-year-old Malaysian woman working in the coffee shop at Block 45 Sims Drive develops a fever, rashes and conjunctivitis.

FRIDAY

She visits Sims Drive Medical Clinic and is referred to the CDC.

SATURDAY

The woman is confirmed to have Zika. The National Environment Agency (NEA) is notified and starts anti-mosquito measures as well as inspections. NEA also begins outreach efforts to 14 blocks of flats in the Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive area.

MOH tests another 123 people with Zika-like symptoms, including 118 construction workers.

CDC reports preliminary positives for three of these cases.

YESTERDAY

By noon, 41 of the 124 people tested are found to have Zika. Most of the results came in late on Saturday night. Another 78 tested negative. Test results are pending for the remaining five.

A joint press conference by MOH and NEA is held just before 4pm to announce the findings.

NEA completes outreach efforts in Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive. It starts similar efforts in the Sembawang Drive residential area, where one of the Zika cases, a 30-year-old Singaporean man, lives.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2016, with the headline 'How events unfolded'. Print Edition | Subscribe