Woman, 60, is 2nd person to die of dengue this year

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Dengue fever has claimed a second life here this year.

A 60-year-old female Indian national, who had been in Singapore to visit her son, died from the disease on Saturday at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

In February, a 53-year-old Chinese national died from dengue at the National University Hospital. She had been living in an active dengue cluster in West Coast Road.

In a joint statement yesterday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said it is unclear whether the latest victim caught the infection here or in her home country.

But the NEA has stepped up its inspections of the premises in the vicinity of her son's home at Block 444, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10.

Two other dengue cases have been reported recently in the area - one at Block 438 and the other at Block 441.

The NEA has detected 11 mosquito-breeding spots, the majority of which were in residential premises.

Efforts to kill adult mosquitoes and destroy any potential breeding habitats have been under way since the cluster was identified earlier this month. The MOH and NEA said: "We urge everyone to continue maintaining vigilance and prevent mosquito breeding by doing the five-step Mozzie Wipeout."

This refers to measures to prevent mosquito breeding, such as removing stagnant water, turning over pails and plant pot plates, and capping bamboo-pole holders.

Both agencies urged residents to co-operate with NEA officers who ask to inspect their homes for mosquito-breeding spots, and to spray insecticide to kill mosquitos found.

During the warmer months of June to October, there is usually a higher transmission of dengue in Singapore because of accelerated breeding and maturation cycles for the Aedes mosquito and shorter incubation periods for the dengue virus.

As of last Friday, there were 55 active dengue clusters. The largest is flanked by Bartley and Upper Aljunied Road, which has 32 reported dengue cases. According to the NEA website, 155 dengue cases were reported between Sept 20 and 11am on Sept 25.

Both agencies said people infected with dengue should protect themselves from further mosquito bites by applying repellent as regularly as possible. Those showing dengue-like symptoms should see a doctor.

The latest updates on the situation can be found at the Stop Dengue Now Facebook page and www.dengue.gov.sg or on the myENV app.

samboh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Sep 28, 2015.
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