Close to 5,500 dengue cases recorded here to date; more than for whole of 2021
Close to 5,500 dengue cases have been reported here so far this year, exceeding the total number of cases recorded in the whole of last year, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Sunday (April 24).
A total of 5,258 cases were logged in 2021.
The week ending on April 22 saw 746 dengue infections. This is the highest seven-day figure since the week of Aug 30 to Sept 5 in 2020, when 937 cases were reported.
"This is a worrying trend as we are only in April, and we expect a surge in the number of dengue cases in the coming months," said Ms Fu. She was speaking at the 2022 edition of the Public Health Council's Keep Clean, Singapore! campaign launch.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has said that Singapore is currently facing a serious dengue situation and could see a major outbreak this year.
The continuous sharp rise in cases comes before the traditional peak dengue season from mid-year to October. As at last Friday, there were 180 active dengue clusters.
NEA said the surge in cases this year is due to three factors. First, the recent warm, rainy and humid weather may have led to a high number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the community.
Second, the previously uncommon dengue virus serotype 3 is now circulating here, along with dengue virus serotype 2, which had contributed to the large outbreak here in 2019 and 2020.
In 2019, 15,998 cases were reported. That number more than doubled in 2020, with 35, 315 cases being logged.
Third, a proportion of the workforce is still working from home, leading to greater exposure to the mosquitoes, which feed in the day.
Ms Fu said that dengue cases are rising very alarmingly, and everyone needs to help battle dengue.
She reminded residents to keep up with good housekeeping to prevent mosquito breeding.
This includes emptying flowerpot plates, overturning pails and wiping their rims, and keeping roof gutters clear.
She also reminded members of the public to bin their trash to prevent it from becoming an unintentional mosquito-breeding habitat if strewn on the ground.
"Dengue is a serious health threat. Let us stay on guard against dengue even as we see improvements in the Covid-19 situation," added Ms Fu.