October 18, 2016 / 11:20 AM / 2 years ago

Singapore 'closes' Zika zone as virus spread dwindles

A pregnant couple walk together at a potential zika cluster in Singapore September 1, 2016. Picture taken September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore said on Tuesday it had declared a Zika cluster area “closed”, after no new infections were reported for two weeks.

The Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive cluster in the southeast of the island was closed on October 9, the National Environment Agency said in a statement.

The agency said it will keep the area under surveillance until October 31.

More than 400 people became infected with the Zika virus in Singapore after the first case was discovered on August 27, including 16 pregnant women.

The virus, which has spread through the Americas and the Caribbean since late last year, is generally a mild disease but is a particular risk to pregnant women as it can cause microcephaly - a severe birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.

Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Nick Macfie

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