41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus confirmed in Singapore

Singapore authorities say they expect to confirm more cases in the coming days

41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus confirmed in Singapore

People walk past a travel advisory on the Zika virus infection in Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Image: Vincent Thian / AP/Press Association Images

41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika have been confirmed in Singapore.

The virus has been spreading across Latin American countries since the start of this year.

In a statement today, Singapore's National Environment Agency said it expected to confirm more cases in the coming days.

The first case of a local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus has been linked to a 47-year-old woman from neighbouring Malaysia.

The case was confirmed by authorities in Singapore yesterday.

All of the cases are believed to be in the same locality in the south-east of the country.

The agency says: "Given that the majority of Zika cases are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and mosquitoes in the affected areas may already have been infected, isolation of positive cases may have limited effect to managing the spread."

The country's government adds that "all suspect cases of Zika virus infection will be isolated while awaiting confirmation of the blood test results".

Although most people with Zika do not display any symptoms or only experience a mild illness, the virus has been heavily linked with causing microcephaly in the unborn foetuses of pregnant women. The condition sees the child born with an abnormally small head and brain.

Recent research carried out in Brazil has illustrated some of the other severe birth defects that could be linked to the virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that 67 countries and territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission.

WHO declared the outbreak a public health emergency in February.