The first dengue-related fatality of 2016 was reported in the island city-state of Singapore on Friday, according to officials with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA).


The patient was a 47-year-old Singaporean male who stayed at Marsiling Rise. He was admitted to KTPH on 21 January 2016. His condition deteriorated and he passed away on 22 January 2016.

The patient had been staying in an area located within an active ten case dengue cluster. NEA has been inspecting the premises in the area, and detected and destroyed six counts of mosquito breeding thus far, of which five were found in residential premises and one in common areas.

Heat attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon is prompting fears of prolonged water crises and dengue outbreaks in Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia. Based on the first two weeks of 2016, Singapore is experiencing the hottest January ever recorded.

NEA warned that it was seeing an increase in the Aedes mosquito population, with the number of dengue cases in 2016 expected to be high. To date, Singapore has reported 1,652 dengue fever cases.

In related news, Singapore officials are also closely monitoring the Zika virus, as they find themselves “extremely vulnerable” to the virus. Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health said, “Singapore is vulnerable to the virus simply because Singaporeans travel a lot to the region, and of course there are also tourists here.”

The NEA has stepped up its ongoing surveillance program for the virus.


Robert Herriman is a microbiologist, Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and host of the talk radio program, Outbreak News This Week 

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