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Dengue cases reported in first week of 2019 hit highest in more than two years

Dengue cases reported in first week of 2019 hit highest in more than two years

File photo of an Aedes mosquito. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: The number of dengue cases has increased for three consecutive weeks, with 207 cases reported in the week ending Jan 5. 

This is the highest weekly number since September 2016, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Wednesday (Jan 9). 

It added that one reason is the increase in the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes detected. 

"NEA’s Gravitrap surveillance system has detected about 40 per cent more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in December 2018, compared to that in December 2017," said the agency. 

"If left unchecked, the high Aedes aegypti mosquito population may lead to a surge in dengue cases in 2019."

The largest dengue cluster is at Bedok Reservoir Road, with 24 cases reported in the last two weeks.

READ: Dengue cases on the rise: What you need to know to avoid mosquito bites

According to NEA, there were 3,285 reported cases of dengue last year, 20 per cent more than in 2017.

NEA added that in 2018, it conducted about one million inspections, including about 9,000 checks at construction sites, and uncovered roughly 18,000 mosquito breeding habitats.

About 4,100 households were fined for mosquito breeding as at November 2018. Forty stop work orders were issued to construction sites. 

The Aedes mosquito also transmits the Zika and Chikungunya viruses.

NEA on Wednesday urged all members of the public to do their part in preventing and removing any mosquito breeding sites. 

Home owners doing spring cleaning before Chinese New Year are also reminded to properly dispose of any refuse, including large furniture or household items, to prevent the discarded materials from becoming mosquito breeding sites, said NEA.

Source: CNA/ga(gs)


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