With the news of the latest Zika virus cluster confirmed in Singapore - folks are trying to understand what it is and what they can do about it.  Our handy guide is below - hope it is helpful!

So what is the Zika virus and why the big fuss? Zika virus infection, discovered in the 1940s, is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is also a known carrier of the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. It is generally known as a mild disease and was never known to potentially cause any long lasting harm. However, the Zika virus infection may cause microcephaly in the unborn foetuses of pregnant women. Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition that manifests itself as birth defects in which a baby’s head size is disproportionately smaller than the rest of his/her body. More often than not, a smaller head correlated to having an incomplete brain development, may progress to developmental and behavioral issues in these little bubs.

With the rising numbers of those infected with the Zika virus in Singapore, there is an urgent need for the general public and especially pregnant moms to recognize the dangers of this disease. Currently, there is no known vaccine or treatment so the key is to prevent its spread, island-wide.