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Eradicating source remains key in fight against dengue

Published on Feb 25, 2013 3:39 PM
 
Warning against dengue along Jalan Chempaka Kuning. Source eradication remains the most important strategy in the fight against dengue, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan in Parliament today. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

Just going on a short holiday could provide mosquitoes with ample opportunities to breed - in places like toilet bowls, gully traps, and roof gutters.

That is why source eradication remains the most important strategy in the fight against dengue, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan in Parliament today.

He was responding to a question by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Yee Jenn Jong on the measures being taken to counter the recent spike in dengue cases, particularly in the Telok Kurau and East Coast areas.

In his reply, Dr Balakrishnan explained that a change in the dominant dengue virus serotype often leads to an epidemic, as the population has lower immunity against the new one. Since late last year, there have been more DEN-1 and DEN-3 cases emerging, a switch from the previously predominant DEN-2 serotype.

To tackle this problem, the National Environment Agency has been working closely with Member of Parliament Charles Chong to educate residents on how to wipe out dengue at home. There is also an inter-agency dengue taskforce which looks for breeding sites in public outdoor spaces such as construction sites.

Dr Balakrishnan added that last year, 900 mosquito-breeding offences were detected in construction sites, of which 626 were first-time offences.