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Australia, Taiwan, South Korea advised pregnant women to avoid travel to Singapore due to Zika outbreak

Australia, Taiwan, South Korea advised pregnant women to avoid travel to Singapore due to Zika outbreakAustralia, Taiwan and South Korea advised pregnant women and those attempting to get pregnant to avoid travel to Singapore after an outbreak of the Zika virus infected more than 50 people in the city-state.

Singapore reported its first case of locally-transmitted Zika at the weekend, and the number of reported infections of the mosquito-borne virus has since jumped to 56. At least three dozen of those had since made a full recovery.

The Zika virus was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. It poses a risk to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. It has been linked in Brazil to more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly, a rare birth defect where babies are born with abnormally small heads and brains.

Read also: Two first cases of Zika reported in Poland

The 56 confirmed cases in Singapore include only one woman.

Taiwan, Australia and South Korea advised pregnant women and those planning pregnancy to postpone trips to Singapore. Those returning from the country should avoid pregnancy for two months. South Korean travellers will receive text messages with the warning when they arrive in Singapore.

Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore's closest neighbours, have stepped up protective measures following the outbreak, introducing thermal scanners at airports and border checkpoints.
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