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Aedes aegypti Mosquito. Close up a Mosquito sucking human blood (Photo by frank60 from Shutterstock.com).

NEA reports an increase of dengue cases over the past three consecutive weeks

The number of dengue cases has increased over the past three consecutive weeks, with the first week of 2019 reporting 207 cases, which is 47 cases more than in the previous week, said National Environment Agency (NEA).

In a press release on Wednesday (9 January), NEA stated that its Gravitrap surveillance system has detected about 40 per cent more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in December 2018, compared to that in December 2017. It also said that this is the highest weekly number since September 2016.

If not reduced, the high Aedes aegypti mosquito population may lead to a surge in dengue cases in 2019, NEA noted.

Number of dengue cases from 2013 to 2018 (Source: NEA).

The contributing factor and key concern is the higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population detected in the community.

NEA therefore urges all members of the public and stakeholders to stay vigilant, and work together as a community to stem dengue transmission.

According to the authority, 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).

"While NEA continues with inspections at the cluster areas, everyone needs to remove stagnant water from our environment, to deprive the mosquitoes of their breeding habitats," it added.

The agency also disseminated advisories to all nurseries ahead of the Chinese New Year period to pre-empt dengue as homes and other premises are decorated with more ornamental plants.

All stakeholders are urged to prevent mosquito breeding and keep the mosquito population low, by practising the following steps to remove stagnant water, including turning the pail, tipping the vase, flipping the flowerpot plate, loosening the hardened soil, and clearing the roof gutter and place Bti insecticide inside.

NEA also reminds homeowners who are 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.

It also said that those planning to go overseas for vacation during the upcoming holiday period should also mosquito-proof their homes before they travel.

Residents 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