SINGAPORE - A total of 636 dengue cases were reported for the week of Jan 24 to 30 - the same number as the previous week - according to the latest figures released by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday (Feb 2).
This brings the total number of cases for the first four weeks of the year to 2,441, an unusually high number for January given that it is traditionally the low season for dengue.
Forty-three cases of the viral disease were reported on Jan 31 to round up the month, while 44 cases have been recorded as at 3.30pm on Monday (Feb 1).
January was also marked by the first dengue death of the year. A 47-year-old Singaporean man who lived in Marsiling Rise succumbed to the virus on Jan 22.
Slightly warmer weather due to the El Nino phenomenon, as well as the change in the main strain of the virus from the DENV-1 to DENV-2 serotype, had contributed to the spike.
On Monday, NEA announced that Singapore had marked its warmest January ever, with the mean temperature of 28.2 deg C surpassing the previous record of 28 deg C recorded in 1998.
Urging the public to take immediate steps to stem the further increase in cases, the agency said the current weather conditions support faster breeding and maturation cycles of the Aedes mosquito, leading to an increase in its population.
Source eradication of mosquito breeding habitats remains the key to prevent mosquito breeding, NEA added.
With the Chinese New Year festive period coming up, it reminded home owners and plant buyers to be especially vigilant.
Those planning to go on vacation should also mosquito-proof their homes before they travel.