Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nearly 5,500 dengue cases in Singapore, more than in all of 2021



Nearly 5,500 dengue cases in Singapore, more than in all of 2021

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The week ending on April 22 saw 746 dengue infections. THE STRAITS TIMES

Nearly 5,500 dengue cases in Singapore, more than in all of 2021

Close to 5,500 dengue cases have been reported in Singapore so far this year, exceeding the total number of cases recorded in the whole of last year, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on April 24.

A total of 5,258 cases were logged last year.

The week ending last Friday saw 746 dengue infections. This is the highest seven-day figure since the week of Aug 30 to Sept 5 in 2020, when 937 cases were reported.

“This is a worrying trend as we are only in April, and we expect a surge in the number of dengue cases in the coming months,” said Ms Fu at the launch of the 2022 edition of the Public Hygiene Council’s Keep Clean, Singapore campaign.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has said that Singapore is facing a serious dengue situation and could see a major outbreak this year.

The continuing sharp rise in cases comes before the traditional peak dengue season from the mid-year to October. As at last Friday, there were 180 active dengue clusters, with six of them recording more than 100 cases.

The largest cluster - at 294 cases since it emerged - is in the Holland Road vicinity, including Grove Avenue and Mount Sinai Avenue.

NEA said the surge in cases this year is due to three factors. First, the recent warm, rainy and humid weather may have led to a high number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the community.

Second, the previously uncommon dengue virus serotype 3 is now circulating in Singapore, along with dengue virus serotype 2, which contributed to the large outbreak in the city-state in 2019 and 2020.

In 2019, 15,998 cases were reported. That number more than doubled in 2020.

Third, a proportion of the workforce is still working from home, leading to greater exposure to the mosquitoes, which feed in the day.

Ms Fu said the number of cases is rising very alarmingly, and everyone needs to help battle dengue.

She reminded residents to keep up with good housekeeping to prevent mosquito breeding.

This includes emptying flowerpot plates, overturning pails and wiping their rims, and keeping roof gutters clear.

She also reminded people to bin their trash to prevent it from becoming an unintentional mosquito-breeding habitat if strewn on the ground.

“Dengue is a serious health threat. Let us stay on guard against dengue even as we see improvements in the Covid-19 situation,” added Ms Fu.

Dengue cases soared to a record high of 35,315 in 2020, as more people stayed home because of Covid-19. There were 50 per cent more dengue infections during the circuit breaker in April and May that year, compared with the same months in previous years.

More mosquito breeding in homes was also detected that year, perhaps due to initial challenges faced by residents in juggling working from home, higher housekeeping loads and home schooling, said NEA in a statement then.

The following year, cases fell to around 5,200 due to cross-protective immunity caused by the two-year outbreak in 2019 and 2020.

However, cross-protective immunity against other serotypes - such as the less common serotype 3 - was short-lived, leading to weekly dengue cases rising again since the end of last year.

Family physician Quah Soon Wee of Crossroads Family Clinic in Tampines said most infected people remain well, with proper rest, hydration, and fever medication.

“If they develop severe symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding from gums or nose, they should seek medical advice immediately.”

THE STRAITS TIMES (SINGAPORE)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Khmer influence growing in Hollywood

    The rare success of The Cleaning Lady – an American TV series which stars Cambodian-French Hollywood actress Elodie Yung – sheds some light on Asian immigrants to the US, yet a significant representation gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) exists both on screen and behind

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of