Dengue cases in first quarter of 2019 rose by three times compared to last year

In Singapore, three people have died from dengue in the first three months, up from one last year.
In Singapore, three people have died from dengue in the first three months, up from one last year.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - There were three times as many dengue cases across Singapore in the first three and a half months of this year compared to the same period last year, and the mosquito population remains high.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said on Sunday (April 21) that there were 2,457 dengue cases in that period, compared to 678 last year.

As Singapore goes into its warmer months, which is traditionally the peak dengue season, Dr Khor cautioned residents to remain vigilant in preventing mosquitoes from breeding to mitigate the risk of dengue.

"Every dengue case is one too many because it can be fatal, particularly for the vulnerable elderly and the very young," she said to a group of about 70 volunteers and grassroots leaders who attended a dengue dialogue and prevention session at Bukit Batok.

The Hong Kah North MP also said the constituency saw 17 dengue cases in the same period, up from just three cases last year.

Hong Kah North is not an active dengue cluster, according to the National Environment Agency's (NEA) website, which was last updated on April 15.

In Singapore, three people have died from the disease in the first three months of this year, up from one last year.

 
 

The NEA launched this year's National Dengue Prevention Campaign two weeks ago to kick-start an intensive outreach effort islandwide.

Since the launch on April 7, more than 190 dengue prevention events and activities have been conducted to share dengue prevention tips, including identifying potential mosquito prevention habitats, with more events to come in the next two months.

Dr Khor said the Government's efforts alone are not enough to stem dengue transmission, adding that everyone plays a role in keeping their homes and surroundings free of stagnant water to prevent mosquito breeding.

"The continuous support of our local community has helped us tremendously, and will continue to be an important part of our war against dengue," she said.

Following the Dengue Prevention Volunteer (DPV) mass training session on Sunday, Dr Khor joined the volunteers in making door-to-door visits at 13 blocks to spread the message of dengue awareness to more than 1,000 households.

Grassroots volunteer Clarrah Goh, 44, was particularly invested in the cause after suffering a bout of dengue in December, where she suffered from a high fever, body aches and rashes, and was hospitalised for five days.

"After I got dengue, I realised that you don't need to live in a dengue hot spot to be affected. Now I'm extra cautious about making sure there is no stagnant water around my home," said Ms Goh, who is self-employed.

She hopes that through the outreach event, people will be more conscious about what they can do to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and the spread of dengue.

She said: "We shouldn't take for granted that dengue won't happen to us or our family."