Dengue cases this year could exceed 16,000: NEA

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has for urgent stepped-up community action against dengue, with the number of cases this year projected to exceed the 16,000 cases in 2019. 

The total number of dengue cases in 2020 as at mid-April is already close to 5,800 – more than double that over the same period in 2019.  

Unless immediate measures are taken to suppress the Aedes mosquito population, the number of cases is expected to spike as we enter the traditional dengue peak period from May to September.

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

More action is "necessary even amidst the COVID-19 circuit breaker period," NEA said in a press statement. 

The number of weekly dengue cases remain high, hovering around 300 to 400 cases per week, and continues to be a public health concern. The unusually high number of dengue cases may increase the momentum of dengue transmission.

There are also five dengue deaths so far in 2020. The five death cases were of ages ranged between 60 and 80 years, and all resided or worked within dengue cluster areas. 

With most people working from home during this circuit breaker period, NEA has advised home owners and occupants to pay more attention to any mosquito breeding at home. The public should "take the necessary steps to remove breeding sites, and ensure proper housekeeping."

The female Aedes aegypti adult mosquito – the primary vector of dengue in Singapore – dwells inside homes. It is active and bites predominantly during the daytime, NEA said in its statement. 

"Thus we should be more vigilant in noticing if we or our family members are experiencing more mosquito bites at home. We should actively seek out and kill female adult mosquitoes, by spraying aerosol insecticide in dark corners of our homes, such as under the bed, behind the cupboard, and in the toilet," NEA said.