SINGAPORE — Four more people have died of dengue in Singapore over the last month, with the number of dengue cases reported so far in 2019 being about five times more than the same period last year.
This was announced in a joint statement by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Monday (29 July), reported The Straits Times.
With the four deaths, the total number of dengue fatalities this year have risen to nine.
According to CNA, three men died on 16 July, while the fourth – a 70-year-old man who lived in Hougang Avenue 5 – died earlier on 30 June. The man’s residence was within a previously active dengue cluster that closed on 12 July.
Of the three fatalities on 16 July, two of them – aged 77 and 65 – live in areas that are within active dengue clusters (Eunos Crescent and Bedok Reservoir Road). The other man, who was 46, had his last documented address as Woodlands Drive 50.
According to The Straits Times, there were five dengue deaths in 2018, with the fatalities aged between 41 and 75. This year’s dengue-related deaths were the highest since 2016, when there were 12 deaths.
NEA’s dengue website stated that, as of 20 July, there were 8,020 dengue cases reported. Last year, there were 3,285 cases reported over the full 12 months.
MOH and NEA said on Monday that, while most patients recover from dengue infection, a small number may develop complications that can lead to death, especially for older patients and those who have concurrent medical conditions.
NEA said on its website, “We are in the peak dengue season in Singapore, which usually stretches from June to October, and the region around us is similarly seeing an upsurge of dengue cases this year. The warmer and hotter weather encourages the proliferation of mosquitoes if potential breeding habitats are not removed.
“This, coupled with a backdrop of low population immunity against dengue, highlights the need for urgent community action to eliminate all potential mosquito breeding habitats and break dengue transmission.”
As of 22 July, there were 167 dengue clusters reported all over Singapore. NEA said that 60 per cent of mosquito breeding are found in homes.
It strongly encourages all residents living in cluster areas to remove stagnant water from their premises, use mosquito repellents to prevent mosquito bites, and to cooperate with NEA officers’ checks and indoor misting in their homes.