After a five-week decline from mid-November to December 2019, the number of Dengue cases in Singapore has increased over the past three weeks, with 345 cases reported in the second week of 2020, the National Environmental Agency (NEA) revealed in a news release on Wednesday, 15 January 2020.
According to the agency, more cases of the less common Dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) have also been detected in more clusters across the island.
If left unchecked, the current high Aedes aegypti mosquito population, coupled with the current high number of dengue cases, may lead to a rise in the number of dengue cases to above current levels in 2020, the NEA said.
Dengue Cluster Singapore: NEA urges all members of the public and stakeholders to stay vigilant, and work together as a community help prevent dengue transmission. | Photo: istock
Increased Circulation of Less Common Virus Detected
The Aedes aegypti mosquito population remains high and could increase with warmer temperatures.
In 2019, the total number of dengue cases reported was 15,998—five times the number of dengue cases experienced in 2018. The highest number of cases last recorded was in 2014, with more than 18,000 cases.
Following rigorous checks and inspections islandwide, the agency said it uncovered more than 16,000 mosquito breeding habitats.
Currently, the NEA has identified six large ongoing dengue clusters and of them, Jalan Bangau, Cashew Road, and Jalan Paras saw Dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) cases.
“Singapore has not seen a DENV-3 outbreak in the last three decades, the population immunity for DENV-3 is low and therefore more susceptible to transmission of the virus. It is thus critical that all residents and stakeholders work closely together with NEA to break the dengue transmission in these clusters, and curtail the spread of the virus,” the NEA said.
Dengue Cluster Singapore: Involvement and Sustained Control Efforts Needed
Despite intensive source reduction work by NEA to halt mosquito breeding, NEA had detected mosquito breeding in homes in some of the current large dengue clusters, such as in the Bukit Mugliston and Begonia Drive clusters.
Mosquito breeding was detected multiple times within the same homes.
It will take “concerted community action and sustained vector control efforts” to help mitigate and prevent further escalation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, as well as sickness to individuals, according to NEA.
The NEA has also urged everyone in the community to remove stagnant water from their homes and stay vigilant.
For those who refuse to comply and continues to be “recalcitrant errant premise owners”, the NEA said they will take strong enforcement action.
To help involve the community, the NEA has made information on areas with relatively higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population available on their NEA website, myENV app and other official channels.
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