Weekly dengue cases in Singapore spike to highest in more than 3 years

Weekly dengue cases in Singapore spike to highest in more than 3 years

There were a total of 468 reported dengue cases in the week ending Jun 15, the highest since March 2016, according to data by the National Environment Agency (NEA). Daphne Ang with more.

SINGAPORE: There were a total of 468 reported dengue cases in the week ending Jun 15, the highest since March 2016, according to data by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

"The number of weekly reported dengue cases have more than quadrupled in the past three months," the agency said on its website.

As of 3pm on Monday (Jun 17), there were 5,261 reported cases, more than the 3,285 cases reported in the whole of 2018 and 2,772 cases in all of 2017.

The number of active dengue clusters has also more than doubled in the past month to 112, as of Monday.

There are 31 high-risk areas with 10 or more cases, including areas in Woodlands, Chai Chee and Geylang. 

Parts of Bedok, Jurong East and Hougang are also among the high-risk areas. You can find the full list, including the streets and blocks, on NEA's website.  

number of weekly dengue cases june
Number of dengue cases per e-week. (Graph: NEA)

Four people have died from dengue this year amid the spike in the number of cases. In May, a 63-year-old man became the fourth person to die from dengue in 2019.

In March, a 71-year-old woman who lived in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 also died from dengue.

A 74-year-old man, who stayed in Bedok Reservoir Road, died on Feb 3, while a 77-year-old man, who stayed at Hougang Avenue 3, died on Feb 7.

TRADITIONAL DENGUE PEAK SEASON

The gravitrap surveillance system deployed by NEA showed a 25 per cent increase in the Aedes mosquito population in April 2019, compared to the month before, NEA said.

"We are in the traditional dengue peak season and a collective national effort is critical to keep the dengue situation under control," the agency said. It previously noted the warmer months of June to October would see a higher transmission of dengue. 

"Every individual, whether living in a cluster or not, needs to take action to prevent more people from being infected with the dengue virus," the agency added.

It is urging members of the public to take "immediate action" to eradicate potential mosquito breeding habitats and to step up housekeeping measures.

People can help stem dengue transmission by removing stagnant water through ways like tipping vases and loosening hardened soil.

Using Wolbachia technology, NEA aims to reduce the Aedes mosquito population and fight dengue, and the project was expanded this year to include areas like Nee Soon and Tampines.

Under the project, male Wolbachia-Aedes mosquitoes, which have been infected with the Wolbachia bacterium will be released into the test sites. When they mate with female Aedes mosquitoes, the eggs the females lay will not hatch, said NEA.

Source: CNA/aa(mi)

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