[UPDATED AS OF FEBRUARY 2, 2021, 11.30 am] | By the end of 2020, Singapore’s dengue cases hit the 35,315 mark, which is noted as “a historic dengue outbreak year for Singapore” by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
In their latest statement, the agency stated that the numbers are now stable and dropped to 156 reported cases by the third week of 2021. But the astounding numbers of 2020 made it the highest in a single year. This, since the previous dengue outbreak in 2013, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement.
Last year’s dengue cases surpassed the 22,170 cases recorded in 2013, and going up to 35,000+. “The year started with a high of 303 weekly cases, and the relative dominance of the less common Dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) in the first four months of the year. The number of weekly cases rose sharply in May 2020, shortly after the start of the Circuit Breaker period, and eventually peaked in July 2020,” the agency shared.
As of October, there were 31,929 reported dengue cases last year. There were 592 dengue cases reported in August, 62 cases more than July. According to NEA, it has seen an increase in the mosquito population in the community for 6 consecutive weeks since the end of August, and that the weekly number of dengue cases have remained high at more than four times the number of cases seen in the corresponding period averaged over the last three years.
Before this year, the highest number of dengue cases recorded in a week was 891 in 2014.
“Whilst NEA is working with all Town Councils on stepped-up dengue prevention efforts islandwide, all residents, especially those living in dengue cluster areas, should do the three protective actions listed below, to protect themselves and their loved ones against dengue,” said the agency.
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Singapore’s Dengue Cases: 25-year-old is Youngest Dengue Fatality
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), a total of 20 people died from dengue last year as of Sunday (2 Aug), including the youngest fatality aged 25.
The oldest victim, on the other hand, aged 92.
Of the 20 victims, 18 of them had worked or lived in active dengue clusters said MOH. No other details of the latest fatality were revealed.
The last time a dengue fatality involved a young person was in 2016. The rare case was tagged to an 11-year-old boy who was admitted to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) on 30 August 2016 and died the same day.
Said MOH then: “Although uncommon, there have been previous cases of children aged 12 and below passing away due to dengue.”
More Dengue Patients Developing Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever
According to MOH, about 0.2 per cent of dengue patients this year developed dengue haemorrhagic fever. This is a more severe form of dengue that can be fatal.
And in the past 10 years, the proportion of these cases have ranged between 0.1 and 0.8 per cent.
MOH said that although most dengue patients recover from the infection. And, elderly patients and those with pre-existing medical conditions face higher risks of developing complications.
However, while those who are older face higher risk of dying from dengue, people of all age groups have suffered adverse effects from the infection, including severe liver damage, said Dr Leong Choon Kit, a family physician at Mission Medical Clinic to the Straits Times.
“The danger is not related to a particular age group. What we know is that those who get it bad usually have early damage to their liver, low albumin levels and are poorly hydrated,” he said.
According to him, the best precautions is for people to protect themselves against bites, get rid of breeding sites, see a doctor early, hydrate and get enough rest.
Singapore’s Dengue Cases: Prevention Measures Against Dengue
Eliminate mosquito breeding sites
- Clean out any surfaces that collect stagnant water. There could be mosquitos breeding in indoor bamboo plants, the area under the air-conditioning vents, the dog’s water bowl or even discarded tire outside the house
- Keep your house clean, dry and hygienic
- Throw away wet garbage such as vegetable stalks, fruits peels, etc., regularly
- Clean out any flower pots and throw out dead plants
- Dress your child in long-sleeved clothing and trousers to reduce exposed skin
- Make him wear light-coloured clothes as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours
- Use mosquito repellent sprays like OFF! Insect Repellent Spray. Check with your paediatricians before using mosquito repellent for babies.
- Experiment with placing mosquito repellent plants around the house. However, one must ensure that the water drains out well to avoid stagnant water
- Use mosquito nets while sleeping
- If you do not already have them, install mosquito meshes on windows. Make sure these are free of holes
- Using Baygon Liquid Electric Repeller at night helps keep mosquitoes away.
Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active
- Limit the amount of time children spent outside during the day. This, especially in the hours around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
- Air conditioning also helps keep mosquitoes at bay
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