19 dengue deaths recorded in 2022, nearly four times 2021’s toll, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

19 dengue deaths recorded in 2022, nearly four times 2021’s toll

There were 19 deaths from dengue in Singapore in 2022, with four of them reported in the last quarter of the year, according to figures from the National Environment Agency (NEA).

This is nearly four times the number of dengue deaths in 2021, when five people died of the disease.

The highest number of dengue deaths recorded in a year in Singapore was 32, in 2020. The previous high was 25 in 2005.

A total of 32,325 dengue cases were reported in 2022, according NEA’s quarterly dengue surveillance data for October to December 2022, which was released on Tuesday.

This is the second-highest number of cases in a year – the record high being 35,315 cases in 2020.

Most of the cases in 2022 were of the DenV-3 serotype, or strain, of the dengue virus, which made up 62.3 per cent of the cases reported in December.

NEA had previously identified DenV-3 as one reason for the high number of cases last year as the population here has lower immunity against the strain.

As at 3pm on Monday, 1,019 cases of dengue have been reported in 2023.

In January, the agency warned of a potential dengue outbreak here this year.

As at Jan 30, there are 50 active dengue clusters, of which 13 clusters had 10 or more cases. NEA noted that the DenV-3 strain had been detected in 10 of these 13 clusters.

Dengue expert Tikki Pang – a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine – had previously told The Straits Times that vaccination could help protect the elderly and the vulnerable, noting that the majority of deaths from the disease here are among those aged 65 and above.

In a written parliamentary reply in July last year, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical had submitted its dengue vaccine candidate for registration in Singapore, and that the Health Sciences Authority was reviewing the application. 

Mr Ong described the vaccine, named Qdenga, as the “most advanced” among six dengue vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical development.

In December, Qdenga – which provides protection against all four dengue strains – was authorised for use in the European Union.