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NEA Urges Continued Vigilance In Fight Against Dengue

20 May 2018

More mosquitoes detected through Gravitrap surveillance system, posing risk for increase in dengue cases in the warmer months ahead.

Singapore, 20 May 2018 – Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, urged all members of the public and stakeholders to stay vigilant and not let their guard down even though dengue cases this year are fewer than in recent years.  Speaking at the main launch of the 2018 National Dengue Prevention Campaign at the North East District[1], Minister made the call for a concerted effort to suppress the Aedes mosquito population and keep dengue incidence low in the run up to the peak dengue season.

More mosquitoes, more cases expected 

2          The National Environment Agency (NEA) has found from its Gravitrap surveillance system that the mosquito population remains high. NEA has detected 22 per cent more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter in 2017. The warmer months of June to October usually see higher transmission of dengue in Singapore, due to accelerated breeding and maturation cycles of the Aedes mosquitoes and shorter incubation periods for the dengue virus. NEA is thus expecting an increasing trend in cases in the warmer months ahead if we do not take steps to keep the mosquito population in check.

3          Dengue should not be taken lightly as even with a small number of cases, some may involve more serious symptoms or complications, in particular for older patients and those with other co-morbidities. Some cases may eventually be fatal. NEA urges all members of the public and stakeholders to continue to work together as a community to stem dengue transmission, to prevent further increase of the Aedes population and a surge in dengue cases. Such efforts will also contribute towards preventing the transmission of Zika and Chikungunya viruses. Those who might have symptoms that suggest dengue fever, such as body aches, rashes or repeated bouts of fever, should see their doctor early so their condition can be monitored and appropriate medical attention can be given. Persons infected with dengue should protect themselves from mosquito bites by applying insect repellent regularly so as to avoid passing the virus through mosquitoes that bite them.

Efforts to stem dengue transmission                                                 

4          NEA, together with the various agencies and other stakeholders represented in the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force (IADTF), including Town Councils, have stepped up checks leading up to the traditional peak dengue season to rid our public areas and housing estates of potential mosquito breeding habitats. From January to March 2018, NEA conducted about 265,000 inspections, including 2,400 inspections carried out at construction sites. NEA uncovered about 4,200 instances of mosquito breeding habitats.

5          NEA also continues to focus on areas with higher potential for dengue transmission such as construction sites. Through our concerted efforts, working with the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) and industry leaders, fewer construction sites have been found to be breeding mosquitoes, from 11 per cent in 2013 to six per cent in 2017. NEA takes strict enforcement action against construction sites found with mosquito breeding. From January to March 2018, NEA issued about 100 Notices to Attend Court and six Stop Work Orders. In addition, nine court prosecutions had also been taken against contractors for repeat offences.

Update on Project Wolbachia – Singapore

6          NEA has embarked on the Phase 2 field study of Project Wolbachia – Singapore at the same Phase 1 field study sites (at Tampines West and Nee Soon East) and their extended areas. The study has thus far provided valuable ecological information on the behaviour of mosquitoes in Singapore and the Phase 2 study builds on that to improve the release methodologies in our high-rise and high-density urban environment. Data collected from the Phase 2 field study will strengthen our planning for a subsequent suppression trial to test the utility and effectiveness of using male Wolbachia-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to suppress the urban Aedes aegypti mosquito population. While NEA explores the potential of Wolbachia technology, source eradication of mosquito breeding habitats and spraying of insecticides where necessary to control the adult mosquito population, will continue to be our key strategy for dengue prevention in Singapore.

Community-led efforts a key pillar

7          With a short breeding cycle of seven days, keeping the mosquito population in check requires the joint effort of every individual and stakeholder in the community to eradicate mosquito breeding habitats. Community-led efforts build a shared sense of ownership to tackle the problem, as the mosquitoes will exploit the weakest link in its bid to find a place to breed. All stakeholders must therefore practise the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout regularly as a way of life, so as to help reduce the mosquito population and stem dengue transmission.

8          The campaign launch will be followed by island-wide outreach efforts across the five districts at different constituencies. This campaign will be supported by the local Grassroots Advisers and the community, with the mobilisation of grassroots leaders and Dengue Prevention Volunteers (DPVs). They will conduct patrols to check for potential breeding habitats in common areas around their neighbourhoods and house visits to advise residents on common mosquito breeding habitats and to share dengue prevention tips. In particular, the campaign this year will focus on making residents aware that clean and stagnant water in their homes can be potential breeding habitats for mosquitoes.

9          To date, NEA has trained more than 8,500 DPVs, comprising grassroots leaders, People’s Association Community Emergency and Response Teams (CERT) members, students, senior citizens and residents. These volunteers help to advise residents on common mosquito breeding habitats and dengue prevention tips during house visits and community events, and check for potential breeding areas in common areas around their neighbourhoods. Refer to Annex A for roles of residents and DPVs in preventing dengue.

10        The latest updates on the dengue situation can be found on the NEA’s website,, Stop Dengue Now Facebook page, or the myENV app.

[1]The campaign was also concurrently launched by Mayor Ms Low Yen Ling at the South West District, Mayor Dr Teo Ho Pin at North West District, Mayor Ms Denise Phua at the Central Singapore District and Grassroots Adviser Mr Lim Biow Chuan at the South East District.

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For more information, please contact us at 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632) or submit your enquiries electronically via the Online Feedback Form or myENV mobile application.





  • Practise the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout regularly
  • Apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Spray insecticide in dark corners of the home such as under the bed and sofa, and behind curtains
  • Cover toilet bowls, sinks and gully traps and ensure there is no stagnant water at home, before leaving for vacation
  • Seek medical treatment early if feeling unwell
  • Participate in dengue prevention campaigns in the neighbourhood

Dengue Prevention Volunteers

  • Dengue Prevention Volunteers complement NEA’s outreach efforts, in helping to disseminate the knowledge of dengue prevention among residents and the community, so that they can carry out these efforts on a sustained basis.
  • Dengue Prevention Volunteers help to:
    • Reach out to their family, friends and neighbours to take dengue prevention steps in their daily routines.
    • Advise residents on the potential mosquito breeding habitats during house visits and community events, and remind residents to remove stagnant water in their homes
    • Share information about mosquitoes including the characteristics of Aedes mosquitoes, symptoms of dengue fever, how dengue is transmitted and how residents can look after themselves to stem dengue transmission:
      • Advise residents to apply insect repellent to protect themselves, especially for those living in dengue cluster areas
      • Encourage residents showing symptoms suggestive of dengue to see their GPs early to be diagnosed.
      • Educate residents infected with dengue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by applying repellent and wearing long-sleeved tops and long pants to stem further dengue transmission
    • Check for potential mosquito breeding habitats in common areas around their neighbourhoods
    • Encourage fellow residents to participate in dengue prevention activities in their neighbourhoods

  • NEA welcomes more volunteers from the community to join as Dengue Prevention Volunteers. Interested members of the public can do so by contacting our hotline at 1800-CALL NEA (1800 2255-632) or sign up at