NEA 'regularly monitors' resistance of mosquitoes against fogging: MEWR

But fogging is just a small part of the NEA's mosquito control strategy, with the elimination of breeding habitats the most effective method, says Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health Dr Amy Khor.
Channel NewsAsia 29 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) regularly monitors the insecticides used in anti-mosquito fogging, to ensure the chemicals used are effective, Dr Amy Khor said in Parliament on Monday (Feb 29).

Dr Khor - Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources as well as the Ministry of Health - was responding to a question from Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Yee Chia Hsing, who asked if the chemicals used in fogging are alternated to prevent the build up of resistance.

Dr Khor said that the NEA currently does not practise alternating chemicals as a standard procedure.

She added that fogging - which is carried out in a "selective and targeted" manner - was "only a small part" of the mosquito control strategy.

"Source reduction, or eliminating potential mosquito breeding habitats, is the most effective method to reduce the mosquito population. It is much easier to detect and kill mosquitos at the larval stage than to undertake fogging to try to eliminate them after they hatch," she said.

"I urge everyone to continue to do his part to keep the mosquito population in check."

- CNA/av

To tackle Zika threat, more screening and anti-mosquito efforts: MOH
These measures include expanding Zika virus testing capability to more public hospital laboratories and stepping up the testing of blood samples from patients with fever and rashes and suspected dengue.
Channel NewsAsia 29 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) will introduce additional measures to tackle the Zika virus, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor told Parliament on Monday (Feb 29).

This move comes in light of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders in Brazil a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has had an ongoing surveillance programme for Zika since 2014, and before the WHO declaration, MOH and NEA had stepped up measures to reduce the risk of the virus taking root here, Dr Khor said.

For instance, Zika virus infection has been added to the list of Notifiable Infectious Diseases under the Infectious Diseases Act since Jan 26.


With the WHO declaration, MOH is introducing more measures to tackle Zika, Dr Khor said. The ministry will be expanding Zika virus testing capability to more public hospital laboratories, while NEA is stepping up the testing of blood samples for Zika from patients with fever, rashes and suspected dengue.

Given the suspected link between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly in newborns, MOH has also set up a Clinical Advisory Group on Zika virus infection and pregnancy to provide expert advice on the management of pregnant women with Zika virus infection.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) also requires that donors with a history of travel to outbreak areas defer from donating blood for 28 days upon return, Dr Khor said.

As recommended by the WHO, surveillance for microcephaly and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) has been enhanced, to pick up any unusual trends. MOH is also looking at potential areas for collaboration and research with the relevant institutions on Zika virus diagnostics, transmission, and the association with microcephaly and GBS, she added.

Should there be a case detected here, NEA and other agencies under the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force, such as the Manpower Ministry and PUB, will intensify search and destroy efforts to control the Aedes mosquito population at the implicated sites to contain any potential spread, the Senior Minister of State for Health said.

She also noted that as Zika is transmitted through the same Aedes mosquitoes that transmit dengue, vector control remains the mainstay to prevent transmission of the Zika virus.


Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli also weighed in on the issue of vector control. He gave the assurance that drains are regularly inspected and cleaned to prevent water stagnation and mosquito breeding.

He said those with minor damage will be repaired promptly, but if it is severe the drain will be upgraded as soon as possible.

"PUB and NEA will continue to keep our drains and waterways clean and in good condition, so as to better protect Singaporeans from floods and vector-borne diseases like dengue," said Mr Masagos.

- CNA/kk/hs

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