Visiting 60-year-old Indian national dies from dengue fever; second death this year

NEA workers spray insecticide to kill the larvae of the Aedes mosquito on a private property.
NEA workers spray insecticide to kill the larvae of the Aedes mosquito on a private property. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Dengue fever has claimed a second life here this year.

A 60-year-old female Indian national, who had been in Singapore to visit her son, died from the disease on Saturday at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).

The first dengue victim of 2015 was a 53-year-old Chinese national who died from the disease in February at the National University Hospital. She had been living in West Coast Road, an active seven-case dengue cluster then.

In a joint statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said that it is unclear whether the second victim had caught the infection here or in her home country.

But the NEA has stepped up its inspections of the premises in the vicinity of her son's home at Block 444, Ang Mo Kio Ave 10.

Two other dengue cases have been reported recently in the area- one at Block 438 and the other at Block 441 - making it an active dengue cluster.

The NEA has detected 11 mosquito breeding spots, the majority of which were found in residential premises.

Efforts to kill adult mosquitoes and destroy any potential breeding habitats have been ongoing since the cluster was formed in mid-September.

MOH and NEA said: "We urge everyone to continue maintaining vigilance and prevent mosquito breeding by doing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout."

This refers to measures to prevent mosquito breeding, which include removing stagnant water, inverting pails and plant pot plates, and capping bamboo pole holders.

Both agencies urged residents to cooperate with NEA officers who ask to inspect their homes for mosquito breeding, and to spray insecticide to kill mosquitos found.

The warmer months of June to October are when there is usually higher transmission of dengue in Singapore, due to accelerated breeding and maturation cycles for the Aedes mosquitoes and shorter incubation periods for the dengue virus.

There are currently 55 active dengue clusters. Between Sept 20 and 25, 155 new dengue cases were reported.

MOH and NEA said people infected with dengue should protect themselves from further mosquito bites by applying repellent as regularly as possible.

Those showing dengue-like symptoms should see a doctor early to be diagnosed.

The latest updates on the situation can be found at the Stop Dengue Now Facebook page and www.dengue.gov.sg or through the myENV app.