Dengue cases fall further but still high, says NEA

The number of dengue cases reported in Singapore fell to 421 last week, 104 cases fewer than the previous week, according to latest figures published on the National Environment Agency website.
Channel NewsAsia 16 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE: A total of 421 dengue cases were reported in the week ending Feb 13, 104 cases fewer than the previous week but still “much higher than usual” for this period of the year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on its website.

A total of 3,454 dengue cases have been reported in Singapore since Jan 3. Two people - a 47-year-old man living in Marsiling Rise and a 67-year-old man living in Toa Payoh - have died of the disease so far this year.

Tampines remains the biggest cluster with 278 cases since the start of the year, including two reported in the past two weeks. The second-biggest cluster is in Yishun with 103 cases, including 10 in the past fortnight.

NEA warned that there has been an increase in the Aedes mosquito population, with the warmer-than-usual weather shortening the breeding and maturation cycles of the mosquitoes, as well as the incubation periods for the dengue virus.

Additionally, the proportion of dengue cases due to the DENV-2 serotype has increased and now accounts for more than two-thirds of all dengue cases serotyped in Singapore, the agency said. Previously, the DENV-1 serotype accounted for most of the dengue cases in Singapore since March 2013.

“This change in the main circulating dengue virus and the increase in mosquito population due to warmer weather may be contributing to the spike in dengue cases. Immediate measures need to be taken by all stakeholders to suppress the Aedes mosquito population,” NEA said.

With the majority of breeding sites found in homes, and the top breeding spots being domestic containers and flower pot plates and trays, NEA urged homeowners who purchased plants for Chinese New Year to ensure that the plants do not become breeding habitats for mosquitoes.

Those planning to go on vacation should also mosquito-proof their homes before travelling, it added.

- CNA/cy

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