Death toll from dengue this year hits seven

NEA contracted workers fogging against Dengue mosquitoes at Lorong 30 Geylang.
NEA contracted workers fogging against Dengue mosquitoes at Lorong 30 Geylang. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Dengue has claimed its seventh victim this year, taking the toll to three more deaths than for the whole of last year.

The 79-year-old lived in Eastwood Drive, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Ministry of Health said in a statement yesterday.

Mr Velayuthar Kanapathypillai Ramachandra was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital on July 30 but his condition deteriorated and he died on Aug 4.

His son, Mr Krishna Ramachandra, 44, told The Straits Times that his father complained on Saturday that he felt tired and weak. He recalled: "He was very weak and unable to walk."

Mr Krishna, a corporate lawyer, said he took his father, to Mount Elizabeth Novena A&E. He had no fever at the time, he said.

His father, a retired civil engineer, was diagnosed with dengue after a blood test and hospitalised.

His condition was still stable on Sunday, but it deteriorated on Monday, said the chairman of Tampines Rovers Football Club.

Mr Krishna said his parents and an unmarried sister lived together.

"Since he was diagnosed with dengue, we've fogged the house twice," Mr Krishna said.

Eastwood Drive, which is close to Bedok Road, is an active dengue cluster according to the agencies' statement.

The agencies said operations to kill adult mosquitoes and destroy any potential breeding habitats have been going on since July 13.

It has also conducted multiple rounds of inspections in homes and outdoor areas including common areas in the estate.

The last person to die of dengue before now was a 72-year-old woman who lived in Simei. She died on June 25.

Six of the seven people who have died were aged above 60.

NEA cautioned that it is the traditional peak dengue season now, and the agency is anticipating an upward trend in the number of dengue cases in the coming months.

It noted that its data is showing a steady increase in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population in the community and the number remains high.

More than 10,000 people have been infected with the mosquito-borne virus this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2016, with the headline 'Death toll from dengue this year hits seven'. Print Edition | Subscribe