Dengue cases hit new high of 554 over the past week; NEA warns of future outbreak

A "Fight Dengue" poster on the hoarding of a construction site in Tampines.
A "Fight Dengue" poster on the hoarding of a construction site in Tampines. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Dengue cases reached a new high of 554 in the week between Jan 3 and Jan 9, the latest figures published on the National Environment Agency (NEA) website showed.

This was 96 cases more than the 458 - the highest in 2015 - reported from Dec 27 to Jan 2.

Another 50 cases were reported on Jan 10 (Sunday), while there were 71 cases as of 3.30pm on Monday.

NEA has urged members of the public to take immediate action to stem the further increase in cases.

"We are seeing an increase in the Aedes mosquito population, and are also experiencing slightly warmer than usual year-end weather due to the El Nino phenomenon," NEA said.

 
 

"The warmer conditions support faster breeding and maturation cycles of the Aedes mosquitoes, and shorten incubation periods for the dengue periods."

It noted that the proportion of cases due to the DENV-2 serotype has increased and now accounts for two-thirds of all cases in Singapore. Previously, the DENV-1 serotype had accounted for most of the cases since March 2013.

"This change in the main circulating dengue virus may be an early indicator of a future dengue outbreak unless measures are taken to suppress the Aedes mosquito population," NEA added.

Members of the public can play their part to stem dengue transmission by checking their premises daily for potential mosquito breeding habitats and removing them.

Residents with plants in vases should change the water and scrub the inside of the vases every other day, while those infected with dengue should apply repellent regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.