Choa Chu Kang dengue cluster now has new highest number of cases on record

A file photo taken on Sept 2, 2010, shows the Aedes aegypti mosquito that can spread dengue fever, at an entomology laboratory in Fort-de-France, in the French overseas department of Martinique. Choa Chu Kang is now home to the cluster with the
A file photo taken on Sept 2, 2010, shows the Aedes aegypti mosquito that can spread dengue fever, at an entomology laboratory in Fort-de-France, in the French overseas department of Martinique. Choa Chu Kang is now home to the cluster with the highest number of dengue cases in history, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a statement on Wednesday evening. -- PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Choa Chu Kang is now home to the cluster with the highest number of dengue cases in history, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a statement on Wednesday evening.

As at July 15, there are six dengue clusters located in Choa Chu Kang, one of which has 316 reported cases alone, out of the 394 in total.

This eclipses the record high of 233 infections in a cluster in Tampines last year.

Calling for urgent action from residents and those working in the area, NEA said Singapore is currently at the peak dengue season and the number of cases in the Choa Chu Kang clusters is expected to rise further.

Of the 316 cases in the largest cluster, 195 cases are residents in the vicinity, while 115 cases are workers from a single construction site - Keat Hong Sunshine Gardens. The remaining six from the Keat Hong Pride construction site. Both developments are under the Housing Board.

The cluster was first formed on 25 June 2014 when three workers from the Keat Hong Sunshine Gardens construction site, but in the last two weeks, the majority of the cases reported in the cluster have been residents.

"The majority of breeding found are in residential premises and hence, there is an urgent need for residents to remove stagnant water in their environment to prevent dengue transmission," warned the NEA.

NEA said it has also conducted three rounds of inspections at the two developments and five other construction sites in the area - Keat Hong Crescent, Keat Hong Axis, Keat Hong Colours, Keat Hong Quad and Keat Hong Mirage. A total of nine breeding habitats were found and destroyed, of which six were in Sunshine Gardens, two at Pride, and one in Axis. The seven construction sites will continue to be inspected weekly.

NEA issued a stop work order to the main contractor of the Keat Hong Sunshine Gardens construction site on June 25, which will be prosecuted in court for mosquito breeding. NEA has also issued a stop work order to the main contractor for Keat Hong Pride on July 3. Although no mosquito breeding was detected at the last inspection of the Keat Hong Mirage site on July 15 July, NEA will be issuing a stop work order to the main contractor on Wednesday as its housekeeping "was found to be poor".

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