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S’pore records 379 dengue cases in week ending May 25, highest number since March 2016

We are in peak dengue season, folks.

Kayla Wong | June 2, 10:08 am

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There were 379 reported cases of dengue in the week ending May 25 — 70 more than in the previous week — making this the highest weekly number of dengue cases recorded in Singapore since March 2016.

This according to an advisory issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Saturday, June 1.

3x more dengue cases diagnosed in first 5+ months of 2019 than same period in 2018

Singapore is currently in a peak dengue season, the agency says, and it expects the number of cases reported to rise even further.

From the beginning of this year to last Saturday, May 25, there were already a total of 3,918 reported cases of dengue — more than three times the number in Singapore in the same period last year, NEA added.

Chart via NEA website

The upward trend follows two years of lower numbers of dengue cases, and coincides with the start of the warmer months from June to October.

This period is also a traditional peak dengue season, when Singapore records a higher number of dengue cases than usual.

Aedes mosquito population up 25 per cent from April 2019

According to the agency’s surveillance system deployed around the island, the key transmitters of the disease, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is also multiplying particularly quickly during this period.

Its population is now up 25 per cent compared with last month, according to the NEA, which uses this to deploy its officers to areas with higher recorded Aedes mosquito populations for inspections.

You may also recall the experiments being done with the male mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacteria:

Let’s learn from these three countries on how we can stop mosquitoes with mosquitoes

This and other methods are being explored too.

NEA doing more checks & enforcement

To remove potential mosquito breeding habitats in public areas and housing estates, NEA has stepped up checks in the lead-up to the peak dengue season.

Between January and March 2019, it said it has conducted about 224,000 inspections, including about 1,800 inspections done at construction sites.

From these checks, 2,900 instances of mosquito breeding habitats were found, it added.

Correspondingly, about 70 Notices to Attend Court and seven Stop Work Orders were issued to construction sites, while three court prosecutions were made against companies that committed repeat offences, NEA said.

“To safeguard public health, NEA will not hesitate to take enforcement actions against anyone found to have created conditions favourable for the propagation or harbouring of vectors,” it said.

Mosquito breeding mostly taking place in homes

About 60 per cent of breeding habitats found were in residential premises between January and March this year.

NEA said the numbers of mosquito breeding in homes remain high.

More than 600 households were fined for mosquito breeding as of March this year.

What you can do

Mosquitoes have a short breeding cycle of just seven days, which makes the task of keeping the mosquito population in check one that requires the “joint effort of every individual and stakeholder in the community”, NEA said.

Members of the public can play their part by taking simple steps such as inverting pails and plant pot plates, as well as changing water in cases regularly.

NEA added that those who are down with dengue should protect themselves from mosquito bites by applying repellent.

In addition, those displaying symptoms that suggest of dengue:

  • Sudden onset of fever for 2-7 days
  • Severe headache with pain behind the eyes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mild bleeding (e.g. nose or gum bleed, or easy bruising of the Symptoms usually appear 4-7 days after being bitten (ranges from 3-14 days).

should see their General Practitioners (GPs) early to be diagnosed.

Where are the mozzies now?

According to NEA, there were 72 active dengue clusters as of May 27, 2019.

The five biggest clusters were found at:  

  • Woodlands Ave 6 / Woodlands Circle / Woodlands Cres / Woodlands Dr 60 / Woodlands Dr 72
  • Woodlands Ave 6 / Woodlands Dr 62  / Woodlands Dr 73 / Woodlands Dr 75 / Woodlands Ring Rd
  • Chai Chee Ave / Chai Chee Dr / Chai Chee Ln / Chai Chee Rd / Chai Chee St
  • Geylang Rd / Guillemard Rd / Lor 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23 Geylang / Sims Ave / Westerhout Rd
  • Bedok Reservoir Rd / Foo Kim Lin Rd / Jln Eunos / Jln Punai / Jln Rimau / Jln Singa / Teo Kim Eng Rd

Folks living and working here, it’ll do you good to be extra careful to protect yourselves from mosquito bites and look out for potential breeding spots.

Top image via NEA Stop Dengue Now/FB

About Kayla Wong

Kayla's dog runs her life.

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