By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

UK, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea have issued warnings about the recent Zika outbreak in Singapore.

Australia issued a travel update urging its citizens to protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to Singapore.

With the “ongoing transmission of Zika virus” in Singapore, travellers to the city-state should take additional measures advised by health authorities, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in an update on its website.

For women, this includes “deferring non-essential travel if pregnant, avoiding pregnancy for two months following your return”, the Australian website said.

The UK government has also advised women who are pregnant or planning to conceive to discuss their travel plans with their doctor before travelling to Singapore.

Taiwan’s Centre for Disease Control raised the travel notice level for Singapore to Level 2 for the Zika virus. It also asked pregnant women not to travel to Singapore and others to take precautions against mosquito bites.

Under the Taiwan’s three-tier system, a Level 1 travel warning urges vigilance and health precautions, while Level 2 calls for a high degree of caution and strong protective measures, and Level 3 advises against travel to or from a specified destination.

Under the Level 2 warning, if visits to such areas are necessary, travelers are advised to follow the “2226 Formula” after leaving Zika-affected areas to prevent transmission of the disease, the Taiwan’s CDC said.

Number of Areas of Concern

The outbreak and the warnings come as a potential blow to Singapore tourism.Currently, come 56 people in Singapore have been infected with Zika. The majority of those infected were foreign workers, but the government has not disclosed their nationalities. The High Commission of Bangladesh, which represents the largest community of foreign workers, said none of the workers were Bangladeshis.

MOH advised that residents of the following areas, especially pregnant women, to monitor their health:
• Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive
• Khatib Camp
• Sembawang Drive
• Kranji Road
• Joo Chiat Place
• Senoko South Road
• Toh Guan Road EastLor 101 Changi

“They should seek medical attention if they are unwell, especially with symptoms such as fever and rash. They should also inform their doctors of the location of their residence and workplace,” MOH said,

“Pregnant women should adopt strict mosquitoes precaution if travelling to an affected area. Individuals working, studying or living in an affected area who are sexual partners of pregnant women should adopt safe sexual practices (e.g. consistent and correct use of condoms during sex) or consider abstinence throughout the women’s pregnancy.”

The Zika virus poses a risk to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Tourism Board said Singapore remained a “safe travel destination”.