Singapore last week marked a record number of 1,158 dengue cases — the highest weekly number reported to date in the country.
Last week’s toll signalled an increase of 288 cases from that of the previous week.
This is also the first time the weekly number of dengue infections in Singapore has entered four digits. Previously in 2014, the highest weekly toll of such cases was 891 cases.
The last daily number of reported dengue cases was 74 as of Monday (15 June) at 3pm.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday (16 June) warned that the total number of cases this year is expected to be similar to, or exceed, the 22,170 cases reported in 2013 — Singapore’s largest dengue outbreak to date.
“The traditional dengue peak season could last a few months, from June to October,” NEA added.
The cumulative number of dengue cases for this year as at Monday, the agency said, is 11,166.
211 active dengue clusters were also reported as at Monday, with Woodleigh in Potong Pasir being the largest at the moment where 209 people were infected.
“With the concerted efforts of the community and stakeholders, the 105-case cluster at Westwood Avenue, 78-case cluster at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, and 65-case cluster at Jalan Jurong Kechil, are closed.
“However, there are still large clusters located at Woodleigh Close, Leicester Road, Tampines Avenue 7, Chu Lin Road and Aljunied Road where intensive vector control operations are ongoing,” said NEA.
NEA said it has also observed “a five-fold increase in the incidence of Aedes mosquito larvae detected in homes and common corridors in residential areas during the two-month Circuit Breaker period, compared to the two months prior”.
“The highest percentage of mosquito breeding found in homes in the top five dengue cluster areas was 84 per cent,” the agency noted.
NEA strongly urged all stakeholders to remove any stagnant water from their homes and immediate surroundings, to destroy any mosquito breeding habitats and to break the cycle of dengue transmission immediately.
The agency also called upon the community to ensure that their homes — including common corridors where domestic items such as potted plants and pails are kept — and gardens in their compounds are free from mosquito breeding, and to use aerosol insecticide spray and mosquito repellent to protect themselves and their families.
Homeowners and occupants are strongly urged to do their part and pay close attention to any mosquito breeding or adult mosquitoes present in their homes, take the necessary steps to prevent or remove them and protect themselves from mosquitos’ bites, including the following:
- Regularly doing the Mozzie Wipeout and removing any stagnant water in homes;
- Turn the pail;
- Tip the vase;
- Flip the flower pot plate;
- Loosen the hardened soil;
- Clear the roof gutter and drains within compounds, and place Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) insecticide inside;
- Spraying insecticide at dark corners of the home, for example under the sofa and bed, behind the curtains and in the toilets;
- Applying mosquito repellent to protect themselves from mosquito bites;
- Using mosquito screens; and
- Using spatial mosquito repellent such as mosquito coils in well-ventilated areas in homes.
“All residents living in dengue cluster areas are also strongly encouraged to cooperate with NEA officers, and facilitate their checks and indoor misting in their homes,” said NEA.
Common symptoms for dengue include nausea and vomiting, as well as pain in the muscles, joints and bones. They may also experience pain behind the eyes and suffer from a red rash.
Those with severe dengue haemorrhagic fever may exhibit bleeding gums and nose, as well as internal bleeding.
12 fatalities were recorded as a result of dengue so far this year.