Singapore has confirmed the first patient to be co-infected with both the coronavirus (COVID-19) and dengue fever, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday (20 February).
A spokesperson from the MOH noted that the 57-year-old patient was not misdiagnosed with dengue as her symptoms and the laboratory results were consistent with dengue fever, The Straits Times reported.
On 15 February, the patient was admitted as a dengue patient at a general ward at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. But having shown respiratory symptoms, she was tested for the coronavirus. After her tests came back positive, she was transferred to an isolation ward on Tuesday (18 February).
The patient is the 82th confirmed coronavirus case in the country.
MOH indicated that the case as “an extremely unique occurrence”, and it is the only known case in Singapore so far, Channel News Asia reported.
According to MOH’s spokesperson, the other patients who shared the room with the woman when she was in the general ward have also been quarantined at the hospital as a precaution.
MOH also clarified that the COVID-19 disease will cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, runny nose, and fever. While dengue symptoms are usually fever and rash, and no respiratory symptoms.
The number of coronavirus cases in Singapore has risen to 85 cases to date, with one case confirmed by MOH yesterday which involved a 36-year-old male Chinese national with Singapore Work Pass.
Meanwhile, 37 cases have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from the hospital, while four patients are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Dengue cases in Singapore are on the rise
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Singapore is also confronting a surge in dengue cases.
On 11 February, the National Environment Agency (NEA) reported on its official site that dengue cases have spiked over the past two weeks, and the number is at its highest in the first 6 weeks since 2016.
Based on NEA’s data, about 2,130 people have already been infected as of 15 February.
The NEA also noted a resurgence after three decades of a strain of dengue referred to as, 3 serotype (DenV-3), from the reported cases in January.
In January, the NEA claimed that “Singapore has not seen a DenV-3 outbreak in the last three decades, the population immunity for DenV-3 is low and therefore more susceptible to transmission of the virus. It is thus critical that all residents and stakeholders work closely together with NEA to break the dengue transmission in these clusters, and curtail the spread of the virus.”