A 47-year old Malaysian woman residing at Block 102 Aljunied Crescent has contracted the Zika virus in what is believed to be the first locally transmitted case.

The woman had not travelled to Zika-infected areas recently so health officials said she is likely to have been infected in Singapore.

The unnamed woman went to see her local GP on Friday after developing a fever, rash and conjunctivitus a day earlier and was then referred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC).

She tested positive for Zika on Saturday.

She was hospitalised at the CDC and put under observation where she is said to be recovering well.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is screening her close contacts, including members of her household. The MOH is also carrying out Zika tests on others living and working in the same area who have developed similar symptoms, while GPs in the locality have also been told to keep an eye out and refer any suspected cases.

Three more suspected cases, two members of a family who reside in the same area and a person who works in the area, had "preliminarily tested positive based on urine samples", according to MOH. Health officials are now waiting for the results of further tests for confirmation.

The MOH and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have stepped up precautionary measures in response, but said there may be other cases, as many infected persons display mild or no symptoms.

Minister of Health Mr Gan Kim Yong, said, "MOH and NEA are working together to carry out vector control and testing of residents in that area with fever and rashes so as to reduce the risk of further spread. I encourage those who are unwell and with these symptoms to visit their doctors for medical attention."

A 48-year-old man who travelled to Brazil became the Republic's first Zika patient on May 13.

At the time, the MOH and the NEA warned that a local case of Zika infection was inevitable.

The NEA said it has stepped up vector control operations in a bid to control the population of Aedes mosquitoes in the Aljunied Crescent area, deploying about 100 officers to inspect the area. NEA is also conducting outreach efforts and handing out Zika leaflets and insect repellent to local residents.

The MOH will provide updates on any further developments. Members of the public should refer to the MOH's webpage on Zika for further information (www.moh.gov.sg/zika).

Source: Government of Singapore