Zika Virus Spreading To Singapore
Although Zika was first identified in 1947, the virus wasn’t considered a major health threat until a major outbreak in Brazil last year revealed that Zika can lead to severe birth defects when pregnant women are infected.The virus can be transmitted from an infected pregnant woman to her foetus, causing microcephaly and other severe brain anomalies in the infant.
In adults, Zika infections have also been linked to a rare neurological syndrome known as Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), as well as other neurological disorders.
On February 1 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and epidemics have been sparked in at least 70 countries.
In Singapore, government bodies such as the Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the National Parks Board (NPB) have all stepped up on their efforts in tackling the Zika virus.
Dengue, Chikungunya And Zika Viruses
The same Aedes mosquito is responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and the Zika viruses. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika, which is a close cousin of dengue and chikungunya. Symptoms includes mild fever, skin rashes, red eyes (conjunctivitis), headaches, muscles and joint pain.
For diseases where there is no effective vaccine or cure, such as Zika, chikungunya or dengue, vector control is critical in preventing transmission. Habitat control such as removing areas where mosquitoes breed can help limit population growth. Appropriate precautions such as keeping our drains and waterways clean and in good condition, inspecting and cleaning them regularly to prevent water stagnation and mosquito breeding, must be taken.
Mosquito control measures such as indoor spraying of insecticides, outdoor fogging, and oiling and flushing of drains are necessary to destroy infected adult mosquitoes. However source reduction is still a more effective and sustainable strategy.
Prevent Mosquito Breeding
Mosquitoes depend on food, water and shelter to breed. Precautions to take include:
1. Getting rid of water in cans, pails, old tires, pots, potted plants saucers and other containers that hold water.
2. Changing water in vases and bowls on alternate days.
3. Covering bamboo pole holders after doing your laundry.
4. Covering up trash bins or containers where water can collect.
5. Covering all containers that you use to store water.
6. Removing possible breeding grounds, such as water puddles or wet surfaces.
7. Keeping gutters clear from dead leaves, debris, twigs and standing water.
8. Cleaning your roof regularly to prevent the growth of moss, algae and lichens.
9. Discarding any bulky trash which may accumulate water.
10. Making sure the drains within your premises are not clogged with debris, weeds and waste.
11. Repairing any leaking pipes or dripping faucets.
12. Maintaining your garden well – mow the grass, trim the bushes and remove dead leaves and branches.
Keeping Your Family Safe From Zika Virus And Dengue Fever
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so homeowners need to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect and stand – do not allow breeding sites for the Aedes mosquito to proliferate. Detecting and eradicating breeding habitats, and killing mosquito larvae (thereby eliminating the mosquitoes at the most vulnerable stage of their life cycle) remain the most effective in our fight against these mosquito-borne viruses.
Zika is particularly terrifying because of its scientific link to deformities in newborn babies. It has struck fear into the hearts of many, particularly expecting parents and those looking to start families.
Controlling this mosquito-borne disease is no easy task. The Aedes mosquitoes can breed and rest in small pools of water and moist environments around our homes and work places. Hence we highly recommend engaging a professional cleaning company to perform a thorough check of your premises to destroy any breeding grounds, clean up clogged gutters and drains, clear away all bulky trash and eradicate any potential danger spots within your living space.
Keep your loved ones safe from Zika and dengue. Contact SGcleanXpert for all your cleaning needs today!