Singapore said a pregnant woman tested positive for the Zika virus infection on Wednesday, as the number of reported cases reached more than 100 in less than week since the first locally-transmitted infection was identified.
There were 24 new cases identified Wednesday with a potential cluster of virus infection in an area in the east of the island, according to a joint statement by the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency. Nine additional infections were also detected from testing of previous cases. That brings the total number of cases announced so far to 115, according to the Straits Times newspaper.
The city-state has stepped up efforts to fight the Zika virus since reporting the first locally-transmitted case on Aug. 27. The country has had measures in place for years to contain dengue, which is spread by the same Aedes mosquito that transmits Zika.
“Over time, we expect Zika cases to emerge from more areas,” Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in the statement. “We must work and plan on the basis that there is Zika transmission in other parts of Singapore and extend our vector control efforts beyond the current affected areas.”
The pregnant woman’s doctor is following up closely with her to monitor her health and the development of her baby, according to the statement.
The recent spread in Singapore highlights the threat of infection across Asia. Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have reported cases that were either transmitted locally or brought into the country, according to the Singapore ministry.
The Zika virus has been documented in several Asian countries since it first emerged in 1951, including Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan, prior to the Brazilian outbreak, according to Raina MacIntyre, head of the school of public health and community medicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.