Control mosquitoes, control dengue

I commend the Government on the latest move to extend fines to breeders of mosquitoes anywhere in Singapore, regardless of whether the home is in a dengue cluster ("$200 fine for anyone caught breeding mozzies"; Feb 29).

This is only logical, as mosquitoes do not limit their bites to well-defined areas.

I want to stress that the dengue virus does not cause disease in humans without the mosquito bite. If there is no Aedes mosquito, there is no dengue fever.

There is no medicine or vaccine to kill the virus, and doctors are not very effective in preventing the disease.

Therefore, the most effective way to control the disease is by controlling the mosquitoes.

The onus is on members of the public and the National Environment Agency (NEA) to make a concerted effort to tackle this disease.

We need to use both the carrot and the stick.

We ought to encourage everyone, including schoolchildren to look out for, and report, potential mosquito breeding areas.

It is very easy to record the areas with a smartphone and forward the information to the NEA. It should be regarded as a duty to the nation.

There should also be heavier penalties for recalcitrant offenders, who do not have civic responsibility.

In this way, we will be able to reduce the increasing incidence of dengue fever in Singapore.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)