40% increase in Aedes mosquito population in Dec 2018: NEA

Dengue cases in Singapore have increased over the past three consecutive weeks, with the first week of 2019 reporting 207 cases.

National Environment Agency (NEA) said a contributing factor and key concern is the higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population detected in the community.

About 40 percent more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been detected in December 2018 compared to a year ago. If left unchecked, this may lead to a surge in dengue cases in 2019, according to a press statement by NEA on Thursday, January 10.

Aedes aegypti mosquito feeding. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Aedes aegypti mosquito feeding. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

There were a total of 3,285 dengue cases reported in 2018, which is almost 20 percent more than in 2017. The number of cases has been increasing since the end of 2018.

The high Aedes mosquito population – together with other factors such as changes in the circulating virus type and herd immunity levels – are risk factors for the spread of dengue.

NEA noted that concerted community action and sustained vector control efforts are needed to prevent further escalation of the Aedes mosquito population and the dengue cases. 

Together with the members of the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force, as well as all Town Councils, the agency will continue its efforts to remove potential mosquito breeding habitats from public areas and housing estates. NEA also urged all members of the public to do their part to prevent and remove any breeding habitats of Aedes mosquitoes. "These efforts will also contribute towards preventing the transmission of Zika and Chikungunya viruses," the statement said.