NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) reports the number of weekly dengue cases continues to rise sharply, even before the peak dengue season in June.

For the first 15 weeks of 2022, officials report 4,493 dengue cases, approximately twice the total reported in the same period last year.

As of 11 April 2022, there are 145 active dengue clusters, with 33 dengue clusters with red color alert (i.e. 10 cases or more in the cluster). Dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) has been detected in 24 of the 33 dengue clusters with red color alert.

In February 2022, the Aedes aegypti mosquito population (the primary dengue vector) remained high in some areas of Singapore, and was about 17 per cent higher than in the same period last year (February 2021). If left unchecked, the high Aedes aegypti mosquito population – together with circulation of the previously uncommon DENV-3 and a proportion of people still staying in and working from home – will lead to a further surge in dengue cases in the coming months.

Source eradication of mosquito breeding habitats and spraying of insecticide to control the adult mosquito population remain key to dengue prevention. NEA, together with the various agencies and other stakeholders represented in the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force (IADTF), including Town Councils, have been checking and ridding our public areas and housing estates of potential mosquito breeding habitats.

Residents, especially those residing in dengue cluster areas, are encouraged to carry out the three protective actions against dengue: ‘Spray, Apply, Wear’ or ‘SAW’ in short:

Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house
Apply insect repellent regularly
Wear long-sleeve tops and long pants

NEA advises members of the public to use mosquito repellent regularly to protect themselves from getting mosquito bites, especially if they are living in dengue cluster areas. Repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picaridin or IR3535 as the active ingredient, are the most effective in repelling mosquitoes.

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Those showing symptoms suggestive of dengue should see a medical practitioner early, to be diagnosed and managed accordingly. Early diagnosis can facilitate better case management, and persons with dengue can also help prevent further transmission by applying repellent regularly, so that mosquitoes do not bite them and pick up the virus from them. The symptoms suggestive of dengue include:

  • Sudden onset of fever for two to seven days;
  • Severe headache with retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain;
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Skin rashes;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums;
  • Easy bruising of the skin.