The Ministry of Health (MOH) has issued a press release confirming 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection in Singapore on 28 August 2016. Of these, 34 people have fully recovered while the other seven, who are still symptomatic and potentially infectious, are recovering at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Please click on the web-link for more information.
While the community transmission appears to be localised within the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive cluster, employers, unions and employees should work together to limit the spread of the ZIka virus to ensure workplace safety and resilience.
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus closely related to the dengue virus. Like the dengue and Chikungunya viruses, the Zika virus is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito.
In view of confirmed local Zika transmission in the Aljunied Crescent/ Sims Drive area, this advisory provides employers with general information on workplace measures to limit the spread of the Zika virus. Employers should also refer to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health and National Environmental Agency on the Zika virus infection and mosquito vector control.
MANAGING EMPLOYEES SUSPECTED OF THE ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION
Employers should encourage staff to self-monitor for symptoms of Zika, such as fever, skin rashes, joint and muscle pains, headaches and red eyes. Symptomatic individuals who (i) have returned from an affected country in the past 2 weeks and/or (ii) live or work in the vicinity of Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area (please refer to map in Annex A) should seek medical attention immediately. Employers should allow staff to do so promptly.
Employers should advise concerned employees to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent, wearing long, covered clothing, sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire-mesh screens or air-conditioned rooms.
MANAGING PREGNANT EMPLOYEES
Employers should ensure that pregnant employees take strict precautions against mosquito bites and seek immediate medical attention if they develop symptoms of Zika such as fever and rash, and if they live or work in the affected area. Those who are concerned about being infected with the Zika virus should consult and follow the advice of their doctors regarding precautions to take during pregnancy.
Employers can check the MOH website (www.moh.gov.sg) for the latest updates.
MOSQUITO VECTOR CONTROL
As the Zika virus is spread by infected mosquitoes, employers should take immediate steps to prevent mosquito breeding in their workplaces.
For MOM’s Advisory on Workplace Measures Against The Zika Virus Infection (http://www.mom.gov.sg/zika). You may wish to visit MOH’s website (www.moh.gov.sg) for more information and updates on Zika virus.
For queries on this advisory, please contact MOM at (65) 6438 5122 or email us at: www.mom.gov.sg/feedback