Is Singapore heading towards a Dengue crisis?

Read what everyone in Singapore needs to know.

About 5,200 dengue cases have been reported this year in Singapore. This is just in half a year. In comparison, for the whole of 2018, there were only 3,300 cases reported. That’s a staggering 209% increase! 

Another dengue epidemic in 2019?

Channel News Asia (CNA) has reported that Singapore experiences dengue epidemic every 5 to 7 years. The last epidemic was in 2013 when more than 20,000 cases of dengue were reported. According to an expert in a CNA report, this year we may have reached the end of that cycle with indications ripe for another epidemic.

There has been a staggering increase in such indicators. NEA’s website says that weekly reported dengue cases have quadrupled in the last 3 months alone. NEA had also confirmed a 25% monthly increase in Aedes aegypti population in April 2019. Aedes aegypti is the mosquito which predominantly transmits the dengue virus in Singapore, as understood from the NEA report.


Figure 1. Map of active dengue clusters. 
Source: www.NEA.gov.sg

In terms of number of cases on a weekly basis, roughly average of 400 cases have been reported per week for the last 4 weeks in Singapore. This coincides with doubling of active dengue clusters in the past one month to a total of 112 (as on 17th June, 2019). These include 31 high risk areas. Prominent amongst these are Woodlands, Thomson, Chai Chee, and Geylang. You can check the map of all dengue clusters here on NEA’s website to see if your neighborhood is part of an active cluster or close to one.  

So, what can we do to keep ourselves safe?

  1. Do not worry, you are in Singapore.

Rest assured Singapore is one of the best equipped, in terms of medical access, quality of doctors, technology and infrastructure, to deal with such tropical diseases. NEA is also working closely with various agencies including Inter Agency Dengue Task Force (IADTF) and Town Councils with help of volunteers and community members to bring the problem under control. Singapore’s agencies and Ministry of Health have been one of the most effective public organizations when it comes to dealing with tropical diseases and epidemics. 

  1. Remove stagnant water. 

We can also play our own part in prevention of the spread of the virus. Removing stagnant water from surroundings is key to this initiative. Inverting pails, flower pots & plates and changing water in vases can prevent mosquitoes from getting the ideal breeding ground. If there are gutters including roof gutters, clearing those and placing the right insecticides is recommended. 

  1. Make sure of that even while on vacations.

Given it is vacation time, you may be going away on holidays. Be sure to cover all toilet bowls and floor traps before you leave for your break. Ensure that all water storage containers are emptied. If your vacation is going to be a long one, ask a relative or friend to check your place weekly for stagnant water.

  1. Get pest control work done. 

The best way to eradicate or prevent mosquito infestation is to use professional pest control services focused on treating mosquitoes. You will find Singapore’s best and affordable pest control specialists on Sendhelper app. Pest control services and treatments on www.sendhelper.com are not only limited to mosquitoes, but also cover other pests such as cockroaches, ants, rodents, flies, termites and bed bugs among others. 

You can also get special packages of your desired frequency for eg. monthly, quarterly and bi-monthly and target group of pests. Simply download Sendhelper app and put in a pest control request for your preferred date and time. Sendhelper’s pest control partners will take care of the rest. 

  1. Be aware of symptoms and seek early treatment. 

Dengue symptoms are sudden onset of fever (for 2-7 days), headache & pain behind eye, muscle & joint pains, rashes, nausea, nose or gum bleeding and easy bruising of skin. If you display these symptoms, please seek medical attention urgently. You should also protect yourself and others by applying mosquito repellants to avoid being bitten. 

Stay happy, stay safe! 

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