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NEA Urges Continued Vigilance To Prevent Dengue Cases From Rising At Year-End

05 Dec 2022

Collective efforts have brought the dengue outbreak in Singapore this year under control.

Singapore, 5 December 2022 – While the weekly dengue cases declined about 80 per cent from the peak in May, the current weekly case number of between 200 and 300 is still high for this time of the year. It is about 20 per cent more than the average number of cases reported for the same period in the preceding three years (2019 to 2021). As the year-end holiday season approaches, the National Environment Agency (NEA) urges everyone to mosquito-proof their homes before they travel and stay vigilant against the continuing dengue threat.

2          A rise in the high number of dengue cases this time of year could result in Singapore entering the following year with an atypically large number of dengue cases. This was the situation experienced in 2019 and 2021 when the year-end dengue numbers were high, and the following years saw large outbreaks in Singapore. We urge vigilance and for everyone to remove stagnant water and maintain good housekeeping to deprive mosquitoes of potential breeding habitats.

Dengue Situation in 2022

3          The total number of dengue cases reported in 2022 is 30,969 (as of 2 December 2022). This is almost six times the total number of cases recorded in the whole of 2021, and about 90 per cent of the number of cases recorded in 2020.

4          As of 2 December 2022, NEA has closed about 97 per cent, or 2,959 of 3,028, of the dengue clusters notified since the start of this year. However, 69 dengue clusters remained. Clusters with a relatively fast rate of dengue transmission continued to surface – such as the 37-case cluster at Pasir Ris Street 71 and 19-case cluster at Jurong East Avenue 1. Most mosquito breeding habitats at these dengue clusters were found within residential premises. NEA continues to work closely with Grassroots Advisers and community volunteers, to reach out to and advise residents on dengue prevention efforts.

5          From January to November 2022, NEA conducted about 841,000 dengue inspections islandwide, including about 5,200 checks at construction sites. About 21,300 Aedes mosquito breeding habitats [1] were uncovered. During the same period, NEA issued fines to 3,500 households for mosquito breeding. Since implementation of the heavier penalties against homes on 15 July 2020, NEA has detected multiple mosquito breeding in 1,470 of the residential premises inspected, and repeated mosquito breeding in about 1,890 of the residential premises inspected. NEA also issued 119 Stop Work Orders to construction sites, and charged 61 contractors in court for poor housekeeping and mosquito breeding. Additionally, 16 contractors have been issued with repeated Stop Work Orders, due to poor upkeep of the sites (refer to NEA website for a list of the sites). 

Mosquito-Proof Homes Before Going on Vacation

6          NEA urges everyone to maintain good housekeeping and ensure that essential vector control measures are undertaken at all premises under their responsibility. Residents, especially those residing in dengue cluster areas, should do their part and carry out the following ‘S-A-W’ protective actions:

·       Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house

·       Apply insect repellent regularly

·       Wear long-sleeve tops and long pants

7          Everyone should also take immediate action to suppress the Aedes mosquito population and break disease transmission, by regularly practising the following Mozzie Wipeout ‘B-L-O-C-K’ steps:

·       Break up hardened soil

·       Lift and empty flowerpot plates

·       Overturn pails and wipe their rims

·       Change water in vases

·       Keep roof gutters clear and place BTI insecticide inside

8          As there is a higher tendency for water to remain stagnant at unused premises, those planning to go away on vacation should take the following extra steps to prevent mosquito breeding:

·       Cover/seal all toilet bowls in their home, and seal off overflow pipes of flushing cisterns

·       Cover/seal all floor traps

·       Add BTI insecticide to places where mosquitoes could potentially breed, and places where stagnant water cannot be removed

·       Clear debris and blockages, and place BTI insecticide in roof gutters and drains within compounds

·       Turn over all water storage containers and wipe dry the rims

·       Ensure that flowerpots, plates and trays do not collect water, after watering plants

·       Ask a relative or close friend to check their home regularly for stagnant water, if they will be away for a long period of time

·       Leave their contact details with their neighbours, so that they can be easily reached if needed

[1] Dengue inspection figures provisional as of 26 November 2022

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