Dengue Cases Are Expected To Increase By The End Of The Year As Aedes Mosquito Population Rise, Health News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Singapore dengue cases are expected to increase by the end of the year as the Aedes mosquito population rises, the National Environment Agency (NEA) warned on Tuesday (Oct. 26).

And with more people staying at home and working from home because of Covid-19, there is greater exposure to the mosquitoes that feed during the day, leading to a potentially higher risk of dengue transmission, the agency said.

More than 4,500 dengue cases have been reported this year and there are currently 12 active clusters in Singapore.

The agency urged the public to remain vigilant and not on guard as dengue remains a serious public health threat, despite the recent weekly dengue cases being lower than the same period in 2020.

It found that the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito – which spreads the dengue virus – was up about 22 percent in September this year compared to August.

The mosquito population is high in some areas including Geylang Bahru, Jalan Berseh, Kelantan Lane, Kelantan Road, Jelapang Road, and 81 Woodlands Street.

NEA also warned that the prevalence of dengue virus serotypes, which were previously uncommon here, has increased, meaning more people would not have immunity to infections with these serotypes.

As of 2016, the predominant dengue virus serotype in Singapore has been serotype 2 (DENV-2). But since May of this year there have been more cases of serotype 3 (DENV-3), which now make up more than 50 percent of the cases examined.

Therefore, DENV-3 has replaced DENV-2 as the dominant serotype, NEA said.

This serotype was detected in 121 of 254 dengue clusters identified as serotypes this year, including the ongoing cluster at Florence Road and 2 Hougang Avenue with 195 cases.

NEA added that the incidence of Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding in households remains high.

“If not controlled, the current high Aedes aegypti mosquito population, coupled with the circulation of the previously uncommon DENV-3 and a significant proportion of people who stay and work from home, would put the dengue at risk Increase at the end of the year “, so the agency called.

The NEA urged the public to continue to follow preventive measures such as the five-step “Mozzie Wipeout” to prevent mosquitoes from multiplying. The five steps are: Break up hardened soil, empty the flower pot plates, knock over the bucket and wipe the rim, change the water in vases, keep the gutters clear and add insecticide.

The agency said it conducted about 523,000 mosquito breeding inspections and found about 14,300 mosquito breeding habitats from January to September this year.

It says: “In the same period, more than 5,500 enforcement measures were initiated against property owners for breeding mosquitoes.”

The agency advised residents, especially those who live in dengue cluster areas, to take three protective measures against dengue: spray insecticides in dark corners around the house, regularly apply insect repellent, and wear long-sleeved tops and long pants.

Households can be fined $ 200 to $ 400 for mosquito breeding. Repeat offenders can be brought to court, facing a fine of up to $ 5,000, three months in jail, or both.

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