A baby born with microcephaly caused by the Zika virus in a rehabilitation center in Recife, Brazil. Picture: Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times

Singapore — The Zika virus has resurfaced in Singapore, according to an update published on the National Environment Agency's (NEA) website on Wednesday.

The case, which was diagnosed and reported to authorities on January 18, is the first of its kind in 2018 since the disease was thought to be eradicated from the country in September 2017. 

The case appears to be an isolated one as there are no identified Zika clusters currently in the country, according to the NEA website. 

The first case of locally transmitted Zika was first reported in August 2016, and 450 people were confirmed to have been infected by the end of the year.

The virus, spread by an infected Aedes mosquito, has been linked with neurological diseases and birth defects such as microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with a smaller head due to abnormalities in brain development.

A widespread epidemic of the Zika virus that originated in Brazil and swept through South and North America prompted the World Health Organization to declare it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in 2016 once its effects were discovered.

A joint sequencing study conducted in 2016 by the health ministry and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A* STAR) found that the Zika strains circulating in Singapore were not imported from South America and in fact were similar to those which have been percolating in Southeast Asia since the 1960s.

However, whether this strain of the virus has the potential to wreak more or less harm than the South American strain is still unknown.

# Notebook

## Internet links - [Zika Cases and Clusters - National Environment Agency](http://dpaq.de/q6pgY) - [Zika strain in Singapore similar to ones in SE Asia since 1960s](http://dpaq.de/OQ5sq) - [WHO Statement on Zika Virus](http://dpaq.de/8aXTh) - [About Zika - National Environmental Agency](http://dpaq.de/xUKhS)

* * * * The following information is not intended for publication

## Editorial contacts - Reporting by: Zubaidah Jalil in Singapore - Editing by: Thomas Cronenberg, +61 2 9322 8064,

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