Singapore sees record 2,441 dengue cases in January 2016

A record 2,441 dengue cases were reported in January this year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health's Communicable Diseases Division.

The high number of cases is unusual as the beginning of the year is traditionally the low season for dengue. Between January and May last year, a total of 3,309 dengue cases were reported.

The National Environment Agency said on Tuesday that 636 cases were reported in the last week of January this year, the same number of cases as the previous week.

NEA attributed the spike in dengue cases to a change in the main circulating virus from the DENV-1 serotype to the DENV-2 serotype, and an increase in mosquito population due to Singapore's warmer-than-usual weather.

The agency said that the best way to suppress the Aedes mosquito population is to eradicate potential mosquito breeding habitats. This can be done by performing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout.

With the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, NEA cautions homeowners who plan to spring-clean to dispose their refuse properly in order to avoid unintentionally creating mosquito breeding habitats.

Those who intend to purchase and display Chinese New Year plants should also be vigilant as containers and flower pot trays have been found to be the top mosquito breeding spots in the home.

Meanwhile, those who are going on vacation during the festive period should remember to mosquito-proof their homes before they travel.

Dengue Decoded - Dengue Surveillance System

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." - Sun Tze, The Art of WarIn the fight against dengue, knowing the enemy means observing the breeding habits of the Aedes mosquito and the prevalent dengue serotype. Learn all about how NEA uses various methods to conduct surveillance on the disease and take action in advance to curb transmissions.

Posted by Stop Dengue Now on Thursday, January 28, 2016

NEA added that those who are infected with the dengue virus should also apply mosquito repellent to prevent other mosquitoes from biting and picking up the virus from them.

People who display symptoms of dengue infection should seek medical attention at general practitioner clinics.

According to the Ministry of Health, the symptoms are:

- sudden onset of fever

- severe headache with pain behind the eyes

- joint and muscle pain

- skin rashes

- nausea and vomiting

- bleeding from the nose or gums / easy bruising in the skin

For the latest updates on the dengue situation, visit www.dengue.gov.sg or download the myENV app.

minlee@sph.com.sg