The Straits Times
Published on Nov 13, 2012

Swift action, alerts vital


MY MAID came down with fever on Nov 1. She developed rashes on Nov 5 but dismissed them as an allergy.

On Nov 6, National Environment Agency (NEA) officers visited my next-door neighbour. They found mosquito larvae in a pail of water that belonged to another neighbour.

I was at home but the officers did not come over to offer me advice.

That evening, my maid told my next-door neighbour’s maid about her rashes, and realised that this neighbour had the same symptom.

I then called my neighbour and found out that she was diagnosed with dengue fever on Nov 2.

I was worried and took my maid to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with dengue fever.

The next morning, NEA officers visited my home.

I asked why they visited my neighbour only on Nov 6 when she was confirmed dengue-positive on Nov 2.

I was told that the NEA does not tell residents that their neighbours have come down with dengue fever, so as not to spark panic.

This should not be the case. Neighbours should be told so they can take precautions.

My house is very close to my neighbour’s, and my sliding door and windows are kept open throughout the day.

There was a lapse of four days between my neighbour being diagnosed with dengue fever and the NEA officers visiting her home.

The Government has spent much money and resources to educate people about mosquito breeding and dengue fever.

But if swift action is not taken, these efforts will prove futile in our fight against dengue.

Pauline Low (Madam)