Residents in Marsiling area hit by uncommon strain of dengue
An uncommon strain of dengue has hit the Marsiling area, with 61 cases reported as of Friday.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said residents may have little or no immunity against the Den-3 virus, leading to quicker dengue transmission.
However, the NEA assures the public that there is no indication of the strain spreading to other parts of the country at this point in time.
The Marsiling area has seen two clusters of dengue transmission recently, with the first detected at Marsiling Rise on April 21. The second cluster detected on May 19 is also the largest so far this year.
The NEA has stepped up control measures in the area, including dispatching 70 officers to carry out mass operations to search and destroy potential breeding habitats.
The agency has also roped in various partners, including Sembawang Town Council and the National Parks Board (NParks) to fumigate the area.
At the Woodlands Town Park East, the NEA and NParks carried out search and destroy operations and applied biological controls to get rid of larvae, especially in the forested area. NParks contractors also stepped up combing of the area to remove discarded receptacles.
The NEA is working with general practitioners in the area to encourage all suspected and confirmed dengue cases to apply repellent on themselves during the infective period.
Public outreach efforts - including house visits and the distribution of insect repellents - have also been stepped up. The NEA is advising residents to be alert to any potential mosquito breeding areas in their homes.
The agency said enforcement action will be taken against all parties found breeding the Aedes mosquito.
A Marsiling resident told Channel NewsAsia he welcomed the increased monitoring.
Property agent Allen Lee recently contracted dengue along with other members of his family. Mr Lee, his daughter as well as his domestic worker were affected for the first time.
"My daughter's platelets count dropped tremendously and she was feeling nauseous. She couldn't eat at all (and) was hospitalised at Mt Alvernia (while) my domestic maid was hospitalised at Tan Tock Seng CDC. The sad part was my wife had to do all the running (around) because three of us were down," he said.
NEA is also advising residents to be alert to any potential mosquito breeding areas in their homes.
The agency said enforcement action will be taken against all parties found breeding the Aedes mosquitoes.
Meanwhile, Mr Lee said he has also taken his own measures. "My domestic worker has been taught... how to check for breeding (in places)... like pots of plants. I think the rest of the residents here have to be well-informed and also to do their part as a community," he said.
Source: TODAY online and CNA/wk