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10 Bangladeshis infected with Zika in Singapore, number likely to rise

  • Published at 12:37 pm September 1st, 2016
  • Last updated at 03:23 pm September 1st, 2016
10 Bangladeshis infected with Zika in Singapore, number likely to rise
High Commissioner Mahbub Uz Zaman confirmed Dhaka Tribune of the matter on Thursday. All of them are working at a construction site at Sims Drive area. “The Singaporean Health Ministry has informed us that the labourers were infected with mild syndrome," he said. "The construction site is under surveillance along with others possible areas that employ Bangladeshi workers.” Singapore announced the first locally contracted case of Zika late on Saturday, Reuters reports. The number of confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus in the city-state rose steadily to over 100 this week. A High Commission official told the Dhaka Tribune that they were first notified about the infection on August 29. "We went to the site immediately but the local authorities did not allow us in  or speak to any Bangladeshis," he claimed. "That is why we are not sure about the number of confirmed cases of Bangladeshi victims," the official said, adding that they feared Zika infection among Bangladeshi labourers could rise. Twenty-three Chinese and 15 Indian nationals are among those tested positive for Zika, said Filzah Diyana Rahman, Assistant Manager of Corporate Communications Division of Singapore health ministry. "All had mild illness. Most have recovered while the rest are recovering well,” Filzah informed the Dhaka Tribune in an e-mail. The Zika virus, which has spread through the Americas and the Caribbean since late last year, is generally a mild disease but is a particular risk to pregnant women as it can cause microcephaly - a birth defect of small head size which can signal brain damage. In January, US scientists urged the WHO to take urgent actions to combat Zika virus, which they said, had "explosives pandemic potential". There is no cure for the virus and the hunt is on for a vaccine. Zika was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947 and the first human case was detected in Nigeria seven years later.