SINGAPORE - A 79-year-old dengue patient died on Sunday (May 29) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, two days after he was first admitted.
The Singaporean Chinese man had lived at Jalan Tenaga, an area located within an active six-case dengue cluster, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement on Sunday.
He is the fifth reported patient to have died from dengue this year, surpassing the four who died in the whole of 2015. The last death on March 22 was that of a 73-year-old woman who lived at Poh Huat Road West.
In Sunday's statement, both agencies conveyed their condolences to the family of the patient. They added that vector control operations to kill adult mosquitoes and destroy potential breeding habitats have been ongoing since the authorities were notified of the cluster on May 12.
"NEA has conducted multiple rounds of inspections in residential premises and outdoor areas including common areas in the estate.
"Residents are urged to cooperate fully and allow NEA officers to inspect their premises for mosquito breeding and to spray insecticide to kill any infective mosquitoes," the statement added.
The authorities are urging vigilance to stop dengue transmission, as the warm-weather months draw near and Singapore enters its traditional dengue peak season
As the majority of mosquito breeding spots are found in homes, in places such as water containers, and flower pot plates and trays, members of the public should conduct the five-step Mozzie Wipeout, by removing stagnant water, inverting pails and plant pot plates, and changing water in vases regularly.
Pointing to the Zika outbreak in countries such as Brazil, Mr Gan Thiam Poh, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for the Environment, said the prevalence of mosquite-bourne viruses such as dengue is not unique to Singapore.
"Fighting the dengue outbreak must be an ongoing effort. For many MPs including myself, we have been going around to remind residents to follow the five steps to prevent mosquito breeding," said Mr Gan, who is an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.
Those with dengue should protect themselves from mosquito bites by applying repellent regularly, and those who show symptoms that suggest dengue should see their doctor early to be diagnosed, the authorities advised.
For updates on the dengue situation, go to the Stop Dengue Now Facebook page, www.dengue.gov.sg or the myENV app.