My experience with Zika: Aljunied resident who got virus shares what it's like

Tan Tam Mei
The New Paper
Aug 31, 2016

When her face broke out in rashes and her eyes became red on Saturday, Ms Wat thought the cause was the haze.

But on Sunday morning, more rashes started appearing on the administrative assistant's arms.

Ms Wat, 61, who declined to use her full name, said she recalled a report about the Zika virus she had read the day before and remembered that rashes are one of the symptoms.

She immediately went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's (TTSH) accident and emergency department.

She tested positive for the Zika virus, was admitted to the Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC) at TTSH on Sunday night, and was discharged the following night.

"I didn't feel unwell at all, I didn't have muscle aches and my fever was mild, just 37.4 deg  C.

"I only had dry eyes and the rashes were itchy, on and off," she said.

Ms Wat is one of the confirmed cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in Singapore.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that as of noon yesterday, there were another 26 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 82.

Ms Wat lives at Block 104, Aljunied Crescent, just across from the Sims Urban Oasis condominium construction site where 39 workers have tested positive for Zika so far.

Ms Wat, who lives with her husband and her adult daughter, said she had to take a blood test at TTSH on Sunday.

She waited for about eight hours in an isolated room along with 15 others who were also suspected Zika cases.

When the results came back, she and four others tested positive and were admitted to the CDC around 11pm that night.

She said: "There is no treatment for the virus so all they could do was separate us into individual rooms (at the CDC), ask us to drink lots of fluids and monitor our vitals.

"Our family members could visit, but we were confined to the room."

Read also: First case of pregnant woman diagnosed with Zika; virus spreads to Bedok

On Monday, Ms Wat's blood test results came back clear of the Zika virus and she was allowed to return home that night.

She was back at work yesterday.

Although her body is clear of the virus, it will take a week before her rashes and red eyes clear up, she said.

Doctors also told her to monitor her condition and return to the hospital immediately if she experiences any side effects such as bleeding.

Although she had tested positive for Zika, her husband and daughter did not visit the doctor for a check-up as they did not feel unwell or display any of the symptoms associated with Zika.

"After I was discharged, I went out to buy enough mosquito repellent, sprays and patches to last my family for a few days," said Ms Wat.

"From now on, we're going to be extra careful."

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