Zika patient discharged from Communicable Diseases Centre

Singapore's first confirmed Zika patient was discharged from the Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Singapore's first confirmed Zika patient was discharged from the Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

A 48-year-old permanent resident who was Singapore's first confirmed Zika case has made a full recovery, and was discharged from the Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) yesterday afternoon.

According to a joint statement by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA), the patient's blood samples tested negative for the mosquito- borne virus.

The statement added that his family members had not reported any symptoms of Zika.

The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which also transmits dengue.

The Watten Estate resident was confirmed as having the virus last Friday after contracting it during a business trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, between March 27 and May 7. Brazil is the country most affected by Zika, with more than 91,000 cases reported there between Jan 3 and April 2.

The patient developed a fever and rash three days after his return, and was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital last Thursday, where he was isolated.

He was later transferred to the Communicable Diseases Centre at TTSH.

According to MOH, public contact with the patient was minimal as he stayed at home for most of the time after returning from his trip, and did not take public transport to the hospital.

Some 160 NEA officers, contractors and volunteers were out in full force over the weekend, fogging the Watten Estate area, inspecting homes and public areas, and distributing fliers about anti-mosquito measures.

The NEA said on Monday that around 700 premises had been inspected, and 40 mosquito breeding sites detected and destroyed.

Of the breeding sites found, 26 were in homes and 14 in common areas.

Some residents told The Straits Times that mosquitoes had been prevalent in the area.

MOH and NEA said yesterday: "We advise residents in the Watten Estate area to continue to monitor their health and seek medical attention if unwell, especially if they develop symptoms such as fever and rash. They should also inform their doctors of the location of their residence."

Zika symptoms are similar to those of dengue, though milder, and include fever, rashes and joint and muscle aches.

The virus has also been linked to serious birth defects in children whose mothers were infected while pregnant with them.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'Zika patient discharged from Communicable Diseases Centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe