Sunday, January 27, 2013
Singapore - Increase in number of dengue cases last week
SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency has observed an increase in the number of dengue cases last week.
There were a total of 208 dengue cases, which is unusual for January, a month that does not fall under the typical April to October peak transmission period. This is an increase from the 135 and 112 cases reported in the preceding two weeks.
NEA reminds the community to take preventive steps to remove stagnant water in their homes, such as doing the "10-minute 5-step Mozzie Wipe-out".
The total number of cases notified in 2013 (till Jan 12) is 342 - approximately a 2-and-a-half-fold increase over the same period in 2012.
This could be associated with a possible increase in the less common Dengue Type 1 (DEN-1) virus, which the community has lower immunity against.
DEN-2 is the predominant dengue serotype circulating in Singapore, showing up in 75 per cent of dengue cases sampled in the past five years, and DEN-1 serotype shows up in less than 25 per cent of sampled cases in average.
In recent months the proportion of DEN-1 cases has been increasing, with most recent results showing 30 per cent of dengue samples containing the DEN-1 serotype.
Stepping up vigilance
NEA will be stepping up its dengue prevention efforts and the public is urged to be more vigilant in keeping homes and their immediate surroundings mosquito-free.
It will deploy more manpower resources to target areas where DEN-1 has been circulating, install Gravitraps to monitor and trap the adult mosquito population, and work with grassroots to step up community outreach.
NEA has also alerted members of the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force including LTA, HDB, PUB, NParks and Town Councils to step up their inspections of outdoor breeding habitats in the properties, buildings and development sites that they manage.
NEA will also roll out a publicity campaign to spread the vigilance message among the community.
NEA officers will also conduct house visits and distribute public educational materials such as brochures to members of the public.
In addition, residents can also participate in their grassroots' dengue prevention activities to help fight against dengue.
Urging the public to also do their part, Mr Tai Ji Choong, Director of NEA's Environment Health Department said, "Our stepped up efforts will be for naught unless the public joins in our fight against dengue. We look forward to the public's support in our efforts, so that our community can worry less about the threat of dengue".
Prevention tips to take
NEA advises all residents living in areas where dengue is transmitting to ensure their homes are free of stagnant water, apply repellent daily during daytime, and to aerosol dark corners such as underneath the bed, sofa, behind curtains in their homes every day.
Those diagnosed with dengue are encouraged to sleep in air-conditioned rooms or apply insect repellent to break the dengue transmission chain.
All other members of public should practise the "10-minute 5-step Mozzie Wipe-out" to remove mosquito breeding habitats:
1. Change water in vases/bowls on alternate days
2. Turn over all water storage containers
3. Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use
4. Clear blockages and put BTI insecticide in roof gutters monthly
5. Remove water from flower pot plates on alternate days
For the latest updates on dengue case numbers and affected areas, please visit dengue.gov.sg, or check the myENV app, or sign up for X-Dengue SMS alerts at http://www.x-dengue.com.
Members of the public who encounter mosquito breeding habitats should contact NEA's 24-hr hotline, 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632), for investigation or contact their managing agents or Town Councils to have them removed.