A 25-year-old person has become the youngest to die from dengue in Singapore this year.
Without revealing more details of the case, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday that the latest death takes the number of people who have died from dengue this year to 20 as of Sunday.
Their ages ranged between 25 and 92. Of the 20, 18 worked or lived in active dengue clusters, which currently number 391.
Professor Ooi Eng Eong of Duke-NUS Medical School said that it is uncommon for young adults to be so seriously affected by the disease, and added that he would need more information about the person's medical background to make more specific conclusions.
"In general, young children from five to nine or 10 years of age are at higher risk but this tails off when they become young adults," said Prof Ooi, deputy director for the emerging infectious diseases programme at the school.
"So I would say it is not common, but the risk is also not absent."
Dr Leong Choon Kit, a family physician at Mission Medical Clinic, also said that those who are older are usually more likely to die from dengue, but noted that people of all age groups have suffered adverse effects from the infection, including severe liver damage.
"The danger is not related to a particular age group. What we know is that those who get it bad usually have early damage to their liver, low albumin levels and are poorly hydrated," he said.
The best precaution then is for people to protect themselves against bites, get rid of breeding sites, see a doctor early, hydrate and get enough rest.
In 2016, an 11-year-old boy died of dengue in a rare case. MOH had said then: "Although uncommon, there have been previous cases of children aged 12 and below passing away due to dengue."