Dengue cases up for third straight week

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito is shown in this 2006 Center for Disease Control photograph released to Reuters on October 30, 2013. Dengue is on the rise again in Singapore. Last week, 485 people were diagnosed with the viral disease, up from 437 th
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito is shown in this 2006 Center for Disease Control photograph released to Reuters on October 30, 2013. Dengue is on the rise again in Singapore. Last week, 485 people were diagnosed with the viral disease, up from 437 the previous week. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

Dengue is on the rise again. Last week, 485 people were diagnosed with the viral disease, up from 437 the previous week.

It was the third straight week of increase after the number of cases fell to 371 in the middle of last month.

This month alone, more than 1,033 people have caught the mosquito-borne disease which causes fever, muscle and bone ache, nausea and rash.

The National Environment Agency, on its dengue website, noted more cases in Geylang, Bartley, Lakeside and Yishun. The most active cluster is at Corporation Road-Lakeside Drive, with 14 new cases in the past fortnight, bringing the number of people infected there to 62.

The Geylang-Guillemard Road cluster is the biggest, with 66 infections - nine of which were diagnosed in the past fortnight.

Since this epidemic began early last year, more than 22,000 people have been infected, with eight deaths, including that of a 59-year-old woman this month.

The epidemic seemed to be tapering off in August when weekly infections fell to 258. But it has crept up since. The current high infection rate is unusual, as it tends to drop off during the cooler months.

Another mosquito-borne disease, chikungunya, has hit more than 1,000 people, with most of them catching it in Singapore.

These two viral infections have added to the bed crunch that several public hospitals are facing.

In the middle of last year, dengue patients accounted for 4 per cent of beds at Changi General Hospital, when the disease was spreading in the east. The hospital had to enter into an arrangement with the private Gleneagles Hospital to take in up to 12 dengue patients at any one time.

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