- Singapore Press Holdings
There has been a staggering three times increase in the number of dengue cases in the first five months of this year as compared to the same period last year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.
In a statement released on Saturday (June 1), NEA said that as of May 25, there were a total of 3,918 cases of dengue reported this year as compared to the 1,058 cases reported during January to May 2018.
According to NEA, this upward trend comes after two years of low dengue cases, and also coincides with the start of the warmer months from June to October, where the highest number of dengue cases are usually reported.
In the week ending May 25, the NEA received 379 reported cases of dengue, and 32 cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF).
NEA said: “We are currently in the peak dengue season and expect the cases to rise further.”
The agency added that in April, the gravitrap surveillance systems detected a 25 per cent increase in the population of Aedes aegypti mosquito population as compared to the previous month.
These gravitrap systems, which are used to trap Aedes mosquitoes, also help to guide NEA’s inspection efforts and focus on areas with a higher population of Aedes mosquitoes.
In addition to NEA’s existing mosquito control efforts, the agency added that it would be exploring other innovative solutions such as Wolbachia technology.
During the first three months of this year, about 60 per cent of the breeding habitats were found in residential premises, NEA said.
It added that community action was important to eradicate potential mosquito breeding habitats – especially during the “traditional dengue peak season”.
Following the launch of the national dengue campaign in April, over 440 dengue prevention events and activities have been organised. NEA has also stepped up checks leading up to the peak dengue season to remove potential mosquito breeding habitats in public areas and housing estates.
During the first three months, a total of 224,000 inspections were conducted by NEA, including about 1,800 conducted at construction sites.
NEA has since uncovered about 2,900 instances of mosquito breeding habitats in these areas and as of March,more than 600 households have been fined for mosquito breeding.
Additionally, about 70 court notices and seven stop work notices were also issued to construction sites.
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