SINGAPORE: There has been a steady rise in the number of dengue cases in recent weeks, with 455 cases reported in the first two weeks of January.
This is three times the number reported over the same two-week period in January 2018, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor on Saturday (Jan 19).
“We anticipate that higher temperatures and rainfall patterns brought by climate change may encourage mosquito breeding and worsen the spread of such mosquito-borne diseases,” she said in a Facebook post.
Dr Khor had earlier on Saturday visited homes in Jurong West to share advice on preventing mosquito breeding sites.
She said that as families buy ornamental plants for Chinese New Year, or discard furniture during spring cleaning, stagnant water can inadvertently build up in those items and become breeding spots for mosquitoes.
Many common breeding spots are found in homes, Dr Khor noted, in items such as pails, dish trays, flower pot plates and vases.
“Community vigilance and action remains crucial in our fight against dengue,” she added.
The rise in the number of dengue cases is partly due to the increase in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes detected, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) last week.
The agency’s Gravitrap surveillance system detected about 40 per cent more Aedes mosquitoes in December 2018 compared to the same month in 2017.
NEA also warned that if left unchecked, the high mosquito population may lead to a surge in dengue cases this year.
The largest dengue cluster remains the one at Bedok Reservoir Road, with 27 cases reported in the last two weeks.