Singapore now battling record dengue, along with Zika

Cases of dengue fever at new high as Zika infections go from zero to 258 in small island nation in just over 1 week

Singapore now battling record dengue, along with Zika

World Bulletin / News Desk

As Singapore continues to grapple with an outbreak of the Zika virus, the resurgence of an old menace was confirmed Tuesday -- cases of dengue fever have reached a new high.

The latest data from the National Environment Agency put the number of cases of dengue in the first 35 weeks of 2016 at 11,312 – an increase from the 11,286 cases recorded in 2015.

There are currently 59 identified clusters for dengue in Singapore, with 13 of them classified as "high-risk", meaning that there have been 10 or more cases of dengue fever in the area.

"As we are in the traditional peak dengue season, we anticipate an upward trend in the number of dengue cases in the coming months," the agency said on its website.

Zika is also on the rise.

According to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency, in just over one week the total number of identified cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection have gone from zero to 258.

The authorities have been releasing daily updates, with newly identified cases every day since the first case was identified Aug. 27.

The outbreak has prompted stepped-up responses from the relevant agencies, with fumigation and inspection exercises carried out in neighborhoods where Zika cases have been clustered.

The government has also urged Singaporeans to cooperate by ensuring that potential mosquito breeding habitats in their homes are eliminated.

On Tuesday, the agency also reported an increase in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population.

This mosquito transmits not just dengue and Zika, but also yellow fever and chikungunya. Seven people have died from dengue so far in 2016.

"As a large proportion of our population is susceptible to dengue infection due to the lack of immunity, an increase in the Aedes mosquito population could lead to a surge in dengue cases unless measures are taken to suppress the Aedes mosquito population," the environment agency said.

Although the outbreak of Zika is new to Singapore, dengue is a long-standing recurring issue for the small tropical island nation.

The authorities have launched anti-mosquito breeding campaigns, with easily digestible information and measures, such as the "5 Step Mozzie Wipeout", which encourages people to take simple measures such as draining excess water from pot plants on alternate days, or putting insecticide in roof gutters every month.

 
Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Eylül 2016, 12:16
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