S'porean man, 67, dies of dengue fever

There were 2,441 dengue cases last month, which is an unusually high number for January, traditionally a low season for the illness.
There were 2,441 dengue cases last month, which is an unusually high number for January, traditionally a low season for the illness.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Toa Payoh resident is second victim of the disease this year

A 67-year-old Singaporean man died of dengue fever yesterday, the second victim of the mosquito- borne disease this year.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said the victim, a resident of Toa Payoh Lorong 4, was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Monday.

His condition deteriorated and he died yesterday.

The authorities said the patient's home location in Toa Payoh is not an active dengue cluster, but vector control operations to kill adult mosquitoes and destroy potential breeding habitats are nonetheless being carried out.

"Residents are urged to cooperate fully and allow NEA officers to inspect their premises for mosquito breeding and to spray insecticide to kill any infective mosquitoes," said the statement.

It noted that there has been an increase in the Aedes mosquito population, the vector for dengue, because of warmer conditions caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

"In view of the warmer than usual weather persisting, the number of dengue cases in 2016 is expected to be high, with cases spiking earlier than in previous years. There is an urgent need to keep the mosquito population under control," said the statement.

Last month, a 47-year-old Singaporean man living in Marsiling Rise died of the disease.

Symptoms of dengue can start a few days to two weeks after a person is bitten, and include high fever and acute pain in the joints. In a few cases, it can also cause a drop in the level of platelets in the blood. The platelets are necessary for clotting.

The number of dengue cases hit a high of 2,441 last month - an unusually high number for January, which is traditionally the low season for dengue.

According to NEA's website, there were 438 dengue cases between Jan 31 and Feb 5 as of 3.30pm.

Dengue cases have been going up worldwide with the World Health Organisation calling it the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease. It estimates 50 million to 100 million people are infected each year.

The authorities yesterday urged everyone to remove stagnant water from their environments to eradicate breeding habitats for mosquitoes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2016, with the headline 'S'porean man, 67, dies of dengue fever'. Print Edition | Subscribe