The number of Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding cases detected almost doubled to 2,400 last month, up from 1,300 in February, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Saturday (April 16).
Since the start of the year, more than 4,000 dengue cases have been reported. “The total numbers are actually twice of where we were in the same period last year,” said NEA’s deputy chief executive and director-general of public health Chew Ming Fai.
“The trend is actually worrying because the typical dengue season is from June to October. Right now, we are in April and the numbers are already higher than where they were last year,”, added Mr Chew at a National Dengue Prevention Campaign 2022 outreach event at Hoover Park Estate in Bukit Timah.
NEA said in the week ending April 9, 643 cases were reported – 134 more than the previous week.
As of Thursday (April 14), there are 164 active clusters, with the five largest in Holland, Bukit Timah, Bukit Batok, Woodlands Avenue 1 and Woodlands Drive.
NEA said the surge in cases this year is caused by three factors – a high Aedes aegypti mosquito population detected in the community, the mosquitoes carrying an uncommon dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) and a proportion of people still staying in and working from home.
Last year, a total of 5,258 dengue cases was logged.
NEA rolled out the prevention campaign on March 30 to combat the sharp surge in cases this year. A purple banner, in addition to the existing red, yellow and green ones, was introduced and put up in places with persistently high populations of Aedes mosquitoes and a greater risk of a cluster forming.
In support of the campaign and given the rise in dengue cases in the neighbourhood, MP of Jurong Spring Shawn Huang visited the homes of Hoover Park Estate residents to raise awareness.
“I think the only way (to manage the situation) is to collaborate and make sure that everyone does the mosquito prevention actions. That is the only way we can reverse the trend and keep everyone safe and healthy,” he said.