Be vigilant in dengue prevention

As a surge in the number of dengue cases appears imminent, I agree with senior health correspondent Salma Khalik that we should all join hands to foster a safe, dengue-free community ("Nip dengue's rise in the bud"; last Thursday).

While the National Environment Agency has done its part to step up public awareness and to educate residents on how they can apply the simple Five-Step Mozzie Wipeout to stop the chain of dengue transmission in their own backyards, I wonder how many actually put such advice into action.

It does not take more than a few minutes to check, remove and change stagnant water in our vases and bowls on alternate days; turn over water storage containers; cover bamboo pole holders when they are not in use and apply the non-toxic biological larvicide that kills mosquitoes before they are old enough to bite.

While Mexico recently announced that the world's first vaccine to prevent dengue fever has been approved for use in the country ("World-first dengue fever vaccine cleared for use in Mexico: Makers"; ST Online, Dec 10), prevention is the better option .

Let us wait no further, and do our part before another innocent life is needlessly claimed.

Johnny Wong Teck Yew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Be vigilant in dengue prevention'. Print Edition | Subscribe