Dengue fever in Singapore on the rise, weekly numbers shoot up in 2019
The number of cases of dengue fever in Singapore has increased over the past three consecutive weeks...
The number of cases of dengue fever in Singapore has increased over the past three consecutive weeks. 207 dengue cases were reported in the week ending 6 January 2019, which is 47 cases more than in the previous week.
This is the highest weekly number since September 2016, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a press release on 9 Jan 2018.
As of 8 January 2019, there were 37 active dengue clusters, with the largest located at Bedok Reservoir Rd (Blk 122, 124, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 608, 609, 613, 613A, 613B, 615, 622, 623, 628, 629, 631).
According to the NEA, a key concern is the higher Aedes mosquito population detected in the community. NEA’s Gravitrap surveillance system has detected about 40% more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in December 2018, compared to that in December 2017.
Apparently, if left unchecked, the high Aedes aegypti mosquito population may lead to a surge in dengue cases in 2019.
NEA therefore urges all members of the public to stay vigilant, and work together as a community to control dengue transmission. This will also contribute towards preventing the transmission of Zika and Chikungunya viruses.
As Chinese New Year approaches, the public has been asked to take greater precautions to prevent the spread of dengue fever in Singapore. Especially since homes and other premises will be decorated with more ornamental plants.
We should all follow these steps (The 5-step Mozzie Wipeout) to remove stagnant water, and to prevent mosquitoes from breeding:
- Turn the pail
- Tip the vase
- Flip the flowerpot plate
- Loosen the hardened soil
- Clear the roof gutter and place Bti insecticide inside
NEA also reminds homeowners doing spring cleaning to properly dispose of any refuse, including large furniture or household items, to avoid the discarded materials from becoming unintentional mosquito breeding habitats.
Also, those planning to go overseas for vacation during the upcoming holiday period should also mosquito-proof their homes before they travel.
Those travelling can keep their neighbourhoods safe from dengue by taking the following mosquito prevention measures:
- Cover all toilet bowls in the home
- Seal the overflow pipe of the flushing cistern
- Cover and seal all floor traps
- Add sand granular insecticide to areas where stagnant water cannot be easily removed
- Clear blockages and place Bti insecticide in roof gutters
- Turn over all water storage containers and wipe the rims dry
- Ask a relative or close friend to check your home regularly for stagnant water if you are going away for a long period of time
- Leave your contact details with your neighbours or the neighbourhood police post/centre so that you can be easily contacted
Symptoms of dengue fever usually begin 4-7 days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito.
Dengue fever causes a high fever — 40°C (104° F) — and at least two of the following symptoms:
- Muscle, bone and joint pain
- Pain behind the eyes
- Swollen glands
In some cases, symptoms can be mild.
Sometimes though, serious problems can develop. These include dengue haemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterised by high fever, damage to lymph and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system.
The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).