Alarming! 11-year-old boy dies of dengue in Singapore
An 11 year old boy has died of dengue in Singapore. Can dengue get severe in children?
The Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore, has disclosed that, the death of an 11-year-old boy in Singapore, on Aug 30, was due to dengue. The cause of death was confirmed from the pathologist’s report.
Channel News Asia reports that, the boy died the very same day he was admitted to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The boy was a resident of Woodleigh Close, an active two-case dengue cluster then, reveals the National Environment Agency (NEA). There were no signs of any mosquito breeding though, and the cluster has been closed.
Experts are of the opinion that the young boy’s death due to dengue, was an extremely rare case and that there was absolutely no need to panic. The Straits Times quotes infectious diseases expert, Leong Hoe Nam, from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital as saying, "Children lose liquids very fast because of their smaller size and weaker constitution," he said. "In Singapore, this (problem) is negated because of easy access to hospitals.”
Dengue, which causes a flu-like illness, can sometimes develop into the potentially dangerous severe dengue. Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever/Dengue Shock Syndrome is a severe form of dengue fever that could result in death.The MOH advises that, "Persons showing symptoms suggestive of dengue should see a doctor early for assessment."
"Although uncommon, there have been previous cases of children aged 12 and below passing away due to dengue," noted an MOH spokesman.
The young boy’s death brings the total number of dengue fatalities this year to eight, an increase by four from last year. However, it is heartening to note that there has been a decline in the number of new dengue cases reported.
However we must still be vigilant on our part and prevent mosquito breeding and protect ourselves from mosquito bites. Remember, Singapore is home to many other mosquito borne diseases too, like chikungunya and now, Zika.
Go to the next page for more on the warning signs of dengue.
Dengue Fever usually develops within 4 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include:
- Sudden onset of fever for 2 to 7 days
- Severe headache with behind the eye pain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Skin rashes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding from the nose or gums
It is best to see a doctor if you spot or feel any of the above symptoms.
Meanwhile, prevention is always better than cure. Here’s what we can do in our fight against the dreaded mosquito:
- The 5 step Mozzie wipeout: Singapore’s National Environment Agency recommends 5 simple steps to keep your home mosquito free. Turn the pail, tip the vase, flip the flower pot plate, loosen the hardened soil and clear the roof gutter and place Bti insecticide. The whole idea is to prevent any form of stagnant water, which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
- Use a mosquito spray: Look for deet-free products which are safe to use and can be applied directly on the skin.
- Stick on a mosquito repellent patch: These are super easy to use, specially on your kid. Again, look for deet-free products which are safe to stick on to children’s clothing.
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