147 dengue cases were reported in the week ending 15 January 2022, 42 cases more than the number reported in the previous week. As of 17 January 2022, there are 24 active dengue clusters, with 4 large clusters at Cleantech Loop, Jalan Bangau, Genting Lane, and Dunearn Road. Dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) has been detected in three of the four large clusters. Prior to 2020, DENV-3 had not been the dominant serotype during any major dengue outbreaks in Singapore over the past three decades. Thus population immunity against DENV-3 is low, and more people are susceptible to infection with this serotype. All residents and stakeholders must play their part to remove any stagnant water in and around their premises, to prevent mosquito breeding.

Everyone needs to remain vigilant in suppressing the Aedes mosquito population to keep dengue in check. NEA’s Gravitrap surveillance system detected an increase in Aedes aegypti mosquito (the primary dengue vector) population of about 17 per cent in December 2021 compared to in August 2021, and the population remains high in some areas of Singapore. If left unchecked, the high Aedes aegypti mosquito population can lead to a surge in dengue cases.

Many people are still currently working from home, which means more blood meals for the day-biting Aedes aegypti mosquito. NEA advises all residents to prevent mosquito breeding in their homes, by practising the following Mozzie Wipeout steps at least once a week to remove stagnant water.

Mozzie Wipeout ‘B-L-O-C-K’
Break up hardened soil
Lift and empty flowerpot plate
Overturn pails and wipe their rims
Change water in vases
Keep roof gutters clear and place BTI insecticide inside

Premises owners should ensure that adequate vector control measures are undertaken at all premises under their responsibility, and that periodic maintenance is carried out for the proper upkeep of these premises. Amidst measures for COVID-19, NEA dengue operations on the ground, including home inspections, will continue, to ensure sustained vector control efforts to break dengue transmission.

Residents, especially those residing in dengue cluster areas, are encouraged to carry out the three protective actions against dengue: ‘Spray, Apply, Wear’ or ‘SAW’ in short:

  1. Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house
  2. Apply insect repellent regularly
  3. Wear long-sleeve tops and long pants

NEA advises members of the public to use mosquito repellent regularly to protect themselves from getting mosquito bites, especially if they are living in dengue cluster areas. Repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picaridin or IR3535 as the active ingredient are the most effective in repelling mosquitoes.

Two educational videos have also been published to guide residents on the spraying of aerosol insecticide at home, and advise on what to do if one lives in a dengue cluster area or sees adult mosquitoes at home.

·         What to do if you see mosquitoes or if you‘re in a dengue cluster area

·         Spraying of insecticide at home

Homeowners doing spring cleaning ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year are reminded to properly dispose of any refuse, including large furniture or household items, to avoid the discarded materials from becoming unintentional mosquito breeding habitats, particularly during this rainy season.

Those showing symptoms suggestive of dengue should see a medical practitioner early, to be diagnosed and managed accordingly. Early diagnosis can facilitate better case management, and persons with dengue can also help prevent further transmission by applying repellent regularly, so that mosquitoes do not bite them and pick up the virus from them. The symptoms suggestive of dengue include:

·       Sudden onset of fever for two to seven days;

·       Severe headache with retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain;

·       Joint and muscle pain;

·       Skin rashes;

·       Nausea and vomiting;

·       Bleeding from the nose or gums;

·       Easy bruising of the skin.

The latest updates can also be found on the NEA website, Stop Dengue Now Facebook page, and myENV app.