Sengkang becomes latest dengue hot spot

Most of the 165 cases are in Compassvale (above), while nine are in Sengkang Square and Sengkang East Road.
PHOTO: Sengkang becomes latest dengue hot spot

SINGAPORE - A cluster of flats and construction sites in the Sengkang area has become the latest dengue hot spot, with 165 people down with the disease after having been bitten by the Aedes mosquito in the past two months.

Figures from the National Environment Agency (NEA) website show that as of Friday, the area had 165 dengue cases. Most were in the Compassvale neighbourhood, while Sengkang Square and Sengkang East Road had nine cases.

The construction site of an executive condominium in Compassvale Road had 37 cases, Shin Min Daily News reported. Work at the site has been stopped twice.

The last stop-work order was in effect for 18 days, Shin Min said, but work had resumed by yesterday.

One construction worker, Mr Meng, 35, told the paper that officials had sprayed insecticide at the site at least twice in the past two weeks. Most of the workers who fell ill have returned to work.

In the past two weeks, 23 new cases have been recorded in the cluster, according to NEA figures.

Lorong Lew Lian and Serangoon Central have the next largest cluster, with 66 cases. Meanwhile, the most number of new cases have been found near Farrer Road, which has seen 44 in the past two weeks.

Residents in Sengkang said they were worried about being part of a dengue cluster.

Ms Mo, a 60-year-old housewife, said this was the worst outbreak in the area since she moved there 15 years ago.

Mr Li, 55, a technician, said it coincided with the start of work at the construction site.

NEA said that of the 85 breeding grounds it has found thus far, 52 per cent have been in homes.

Mr Li said: "It was dry in March, so we were not affected. Now that it has started raining again, cases have picked up, so I am quite worried."

NEA and grassroots leaders in Sengkang have stepped up efforts to fight the mosquito scourge there.

Mr Li said that insecticide is being sprayed at his block of flats every day, and NEA officers have been knocking on doors to check for sources of mosquito breeding.

The residents' committee has also distributed insect repellent to residents.

The NEA spokesman said it had sprayed more than 700 homes so far. Residents have been reminded to ensure that no water collects in vases, flower pots or other containers.

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