The Straits Times says

No room for complacency over dengue

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Minds have been so focused, and rightly so, on fighting the coronavirus pandemic that Singaporeans may have inadvertently given less attention than deserved to another public health challenge with which they are all too familiar: dengue. The fever is a disease caused by the dengue virus, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infective mosquito. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), there are four different serotypes of dengue virus circulating in the world, including Singapore. Hence, individuals can be infected with dengue up to four times. First-time dengue infections can be severe, especially among the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, and repeat dengue infections have been associated with a higher occurrence of severe dengue, MOH adds. Dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome can be fatal.

In that context, it is alarming that the number of dengue cases here has crossed the 8,000 mark in the first five months of this year, exceeding the 5,258 cases reported in the whole of 2021. These numbers are worrying, particularly since the traditional peak dengue season, between June and October, has yet to arrive. The surge is caused partially by a high Aedes aegypti mosquito population, perhaps because of the recent warm, rainy and humid weather. Also, a proportion of people have continued to stay at and work from home.

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