SINGAPORE: A total of 455 dengue cases were reported in the week ending Jan 2, 86 more than the week before, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an update on its website. This is the highest number of cases in a week recorded in 2015.
NEA reiterated that the proportion of dengue cases due to the DENV-2 serotype has increased in the Republic and now accounts for more than half of all dengue cases in Singapore. The DENV-1 serotype had accounted for most of the dengue cases since March 2013 and NEA said this change in the main circulating dengue virus may be an early indicator of a future dengue outbreak. When there is a prevalent serotype of dengue in the population, the community will build up a "herd immunity" to the serotype. When the main circulating dengue serotype changes, there will hence be less community immunity against the new serotype.
NEA is urging members of the public as well as stakeholders to take immediate action to stem the further increase in cases. "We are seeing an increase in the Aedes mosquito population and are also experiencing slightly warmer than usual year-end weather due to the El Nino phenomenon," NEA said. The warmer conditions support faster breeding and maturation cycles for mosquitoes and shortens incubation periods for the dengue virus, the agency added.
NEA said source eradication of mosquito breeding habitats remains key to preventing mosquito breeding and encouraged stakeholders to play their part by checking their premises daily for these habitats and removing them. Residents with plants in vases should also change the water and scrub the inside of the vases every alternate day.
"Those infected with dengue should also apply repellent as regularly as possible to prevent mosquitoes from biting and picking up the virus from them and those showing symptoms of dengue should see their GPs early to be diagnosed," NEA added.