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Two elderly deaths at Bedok Reservoir Rd and Hougang due to dengue, first two reported dengue-related deaths in 2019

Two elderly men who lived in Bedok Reservoir Road and Hougang passed away from dengue, announced the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Saturday (9 February).

The 74-year-old man, who stayed at Bedok Reservoir Road, passed away on 3 February. While, the 77-year-old man, who stayed at Hougang Avenue 3, passed away on Thursday.

The two cases are the first two reported cases of dengue-related deaths this year.

The authorities states that although most dengue patients recover from the infection, a small number may develop complications that can lead to the death, especially in the case of older patients and those with concurrent medical condition.

183 dengue cases were reported in the week ending 2 February 2019, 39 cases fewer than in the previous week. A total of 1093 cases of dengue were reported during the year of 2019.

A total of 167 dengue cases have been reported in the dengue cluster of Bedok Reservoir Road, Jalan Damai, Jalan Tenaga and Kaki Bukit Avenue 1 as of Friday.

Six dengue cases have been reported at Hougang Avenue 3.

As of 4 February 2019, there were 47 active dengue clusters, with the largest located at Bedok Reservoir Rd / Jln Damai (Blk 670) / Jln Tenaga (Blk 654) / Kaki Bt Ave 1.

NEA has been conducting inspections in the Bedok cluster since 23 November and at Hougang Avenue 3 since it was notified as a dengue cluster on Friday.

A total of 102 mosquito breeding habitats were found and destroyed as of Friday in the Bedok cluster. Among them, 79 were in residential premises, eight in industrial premises and 15 in common areas.

At Hougang Avenue 3, two mosquito breeding habitats, all detected in common areas, were found and destroyed.

Vector control operations are ongoing, the authorities stated, adding that spraying of insecticide is being conducted at common areas to control the adult mosquito population.

Members of the public are encouraged to do the 5-step Mozzie workout.

The authorities note that owners whose premises were found with mosquito breeding may be fined up to S$5,000 and/or jailed up to three months. An owner or occupier of the residence may also be fined S$200.

Members of the public showing symptoms suggestive of dengue are suggested to go see the doctor immediately.

The characteristic symptoms of dengue are sudden-onset fever, headache (typically located behind the eyes), muscle and joint pains, and a rash. The alternative name for dengue, “breakbone fever”, comes from the associated muscle and joint pains. The course of infection is divided into three phases: febrile, critical, and recovery.

The febrile phase involves high fever, potentially over 40 °C (104 °F), and is associated with generalized pain and a headache; this usually lasts two to seven days. Nausea and vomiting may also occur.

A rash occurs in 50–80% of those with symptoms in the first or second day of symptoms as flushed skin, or later in the course of illness (days 4–7), as a measles-like rash. A rash described as “islands of white in a sea of red” has also been observed.

Some petechiae (small red spots that do not disappear when the skin is pressed, which are caused by broken capillaries) can appear at this point, as may some mild bleeding from the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose.

The fever itself is classically biphasic or saddleback in nature, breaking and then returning for one or two days.