3 dengue-related deaths in largest active cluster at Jurong West: NEA, MOH

MOH and NEA said 60 dengue cases have been reported in the largest dengue cluster so far this year at Jurong West Streets 91 and 92. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Posters displaying information on safety measures against dengue and Zika were pasted at the lift landing of Block 938, Jurong West Street 91. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Three people who lived in an active dengue fever cluster in Jurong West have died from dengue fever, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a joint statement on Saturday (May 5).

Of these, one was a 68-year-old Singaporean woman who died on April 13 while overseas.

The second fatality is a 41-year-old Singaporean man, who was admitted to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital on April 29. His condition deteriorated and he died on May 3.

The third person who died from the mosquito-borne disease was a 63-year-old Singaporean woman. She died on Thursday after being admitted to Ng Teng Fong on Tuesday.

According to a quarterly report by MOH and NEA on dengue-related deaths, published on NEA's website, there was one other such death this year. MOH told ST on Saturday that a 75-year-old woman died from dengue haemorrhagic fever in March.

MOH and NEA said 60 dengue cases have been reported in the largest dengue cluster this year at Jurong West Streets 91 and 92.

The blocks in this cluster are Blocks 933, 940, 943, 945, 946, 947, 948, 949, 950 and 952 in Street 91 and Blocks 920 and 928 in Street 92.

According to NEA's website, the Jurong West Street 91 and Street 92 area is a red high-risk area with 10 or more cases.

There were 32 reported cases in the last two weeks, and a total of 60 since the start of the cluster.

The number of reported dengue cases in Singapore has steadily increased since mid-March, according to NEA's site.

The figure was 24 in the week between March 25 and March 31. This increased to 64 for the week from April 29 to May 4.

The Straits Times reported last week that the number of dengue infections is poised to stay low this year.

Last year, 2,772 infections were reported - the lowest in 16 years.

MOH and NEA expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.

"We are currently investigating the factors that may have contributed to the severe cases in the cluster," said MOH and NEA.

The cluster was notified on April 3. Since then, NEA has deployed 80 officers to check and destroy mosquito breeding in the area.

A total of 117 breeding habitats were detected as of May 3.

Of these, 82 were found in residential premises in common habitats such as flower bowls, flower vases, fountains, pails and dish drying trays.

Some had very high larvae counts of up to 200 larvae.

Another 35 breeding habitats were found in ground puddles, gully traps and scupper drains.

There were no construction site-related mosquito breeding found in the area, NEA said.

It has also sprayed insecticides in the common corridors and in homes to kill any infected adult mosquitoes that may be propagating the transmission.

On top of this, dengue cluster alert banners and posters have been put up around the estate and in lift lobbies to flag the danger.

NEA has also brought in 60 more officers to augment ongoing outreach efforts in the Jurong West dengue cluster.

In the joint statement, it encouraged residents to allow NEA officers to carry out indoor spraying of their homes to kill infected mosquitoes.

It also urged all residents to play their part to stem dengue transmission, including applying insect repellent when outdoors and spraying insecticides in dark corners of homes.

Those showing symptoms suggestive of dengue fever are advised to see a doctor immediately.

Symptoms include sudden onset of fever for two to seven days, severe headaches with pain behind the eye, joint and muscle pain, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, bleeding from the nose or gums, or easy bruising in the skin.

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