Dengue warning as Aedes mosquito numbers grow
Dengue cases may rise in the next few months, after a surge in the Aedes mosquito population was detected last month, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.
About 60 per cent more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were detected by NEA's Gravitrap surveillance system last month than in October. There is also a high diversity of dengue serotypes or strains, which may contribute to more infections.
The NEA said: "Historically, a change in predominant dengue virus serotype has been followed by a spike in dengue cases."
However, infections remain low for now, with 70 cases of dengue fever in the first week of January. This is a fraction of an unusually-high 547 cases reported in the first week of last year.
NEA advised taking these steps to prevent breeding:
- Turning over all used water storage containers
- Changing water in vases on alternate days
- Removing water from flower pot plates on alternate days
- Loosening hardened soil on alternate days
Those doing spring cleaning should properly dispose of any refuse to avoid the discarded material becoming mosquito breeding habitats.
Those travelling during the holiday period should mosquito-proof their homes. - THE STRAITS TIMES