Four more people die of dengue, including a 46-year-old, bringing total deaths to nine this year

A Red Dengue Alert banner in Bishan Street 22. A total of nine people have died of dengue this year as of July 20. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Four more people have died of dengue, including a 46-year-old man, bringing the total deaths this year to nine as of July 20.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint reply to media queries on Monday (July 29) that there were 8,020 dengue cases reported to MOH as of July 20.

This is about five times more than the total number of dengue cases reported in the same period last year.

In 2017, there were 2,772 cases of dengue infections in Singapore - a 16-year low. Last year, there were 3,285 cases.

Three men died on July 16. Two of them, aged 77 and 65, lived in areas that are within active dengue clusters, in Eunos Crescent and Bedok Reservoir Road. The other man, 46, had Woodlands Drive 50 as his last documented address.

Another man, who was 70, died on June 30. He lived in Hougang Ave 5, which was within a previously active dengue cluster that closed on July 12.

Last year, five people aged 41 to 75 died from dengue fever.

Since the notification of the Eunos Crescent cluster on June 28, NEA has detected and destroyed eight mosquito breeding habitats, which were all found in residential premises.

For the Bedok Reservoir Road cluster, since its notification on June 25, NEA has detected and destroyed 11 breeding habitats, with five of them in residential areas.

The authorities said on Monday that while most patients recover from dengue infection, a small number may develop complications that can lead to death, especially for older patients and those who have concurrent medical conditions.

They said there is an urgent need for residents and premise owners to cooperate fully with inspection rounds and vector control operations.

Between January and June this year, about 60 per cent of the breeding habitats detected here were found in homes.

"The number of such breedings in homes remains high. Percentage of home breedings found in dengue cluster areas is even higher, at 70 per cent," said the joint statement.

In its quarterly report on dengue surveillance data, NEA said it detected about 5,200 breeding habitats from April to June this year, an increase of about 69 per cent compared to the previous quarter from January to March.

They advised that people infected with dengue should protect themselves from mosquito bites by applying repellent regularly. Those showing symptoms suggestive of dengue should see their doctors early to be diagnosed.

The peak dengue season in Singapore usually stretches from June to October, with the warmer weather encouraging mosquitoes to breed if potential breeding habitats are not removed, said the NEA on its website.

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