SINGAPORE — Singapore on Friday reported its first case of the Zika virus, a 48-year-old male Singapore permanent resident who recently returned from Brazil.
“The patient was tested positive for Zika virus infection on 13 May,” the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency said in a joint statement, published in whole on The Straits Times website.
It is “the first imported case of Zika virus infection in Singapore,” the statement said.
The patient travelled to Sao Paulo from March 27 to Saturday last week. He developed a fever and rash from Tuesday and was admitted to a private hospital.
He will be transferred to the Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital for treatment. He has been isolated and is currently well and recovering.
The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which also transmits dengue.
There is already a high incidence of dengue fever in Singapore, which has a warm and humid tropical climate with rainfalls all year round.
While the Zika virus usually causes mild symptoms, such as skin rashes and headaches, it is suspected to cause abnormally small head sizes in newborn children, a condition called microcephaly, when mothers contract the virus during pregnancy. Brazil has seen a rapid increase in such cases.