Dengue cases soar, doubling in first quarter of 2024; seven deaths reported

SINGAPORE: Singapore is experiencing a surge in dengue infections, with cases in the opening quarter of the year more than double that of the same period in 2023. 

Over 5,000 dengue cases were reported, a spike from the 2,360 cases in the same quarter last year, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a news release on Sunday (Mar 31).

As of Mar 25, seven people have died from local dengue infection. Six fatalities were recorded for the whole of 2023. 

The figures were revealed at Sunday’s launch of the national dengue prevention campaign, which came ahead of the traditional peak dengue season of May to October.

“What’s worrying is that this year we are seeing an increase in the number of cases,” said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment Baey Yam Keng said in a doorstop interview. “We have weekly dengue cases of more than 300 in this first quarter.”

The Aedes aegypti mosquito population has also remained high, with the number of Aedes mosquito breeding habitats found at residential premises in January double that of last January.

In the latest update on NEA’s website, there are 27 dengue clusters under the “red” alert level as of Mar 28, referring to high-risk areas with 10 or more cases.

“Our population in Singapore has low immunity to all four Dengue virus serotypes too,” said the agency.

“The continued presence of all these dengue risk factors may lead to a surge in dengue cases in the coming months, if insufficient action is taken.”

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