As Covid 19 continues to dominate the news here in Singapore, another sinister disease is rearing it’s ugly head. Cumulative Dengue infections have sky rocketed to more than 29,700 as of 21 September 2020. This number is almost twice that of the 15,998 cases reported in 2019 and is already the largest outbreak in Singapore history (the previous peak was 22,170 cases in 2013 (source: CNA).
And sadly, 20 have already succumbed to the disease. Even the young are not spare as the ages of those who died ranged from 25 to 92 years old.
Compared to Covid 19 that had recorded 27 deaths to date, dengue is not far behind. But given that attention seem to be on Covid 19 these days, we may not be doing enough to protect ourselves from this equally dreaded disease.
So to help highlight the Dengue situation and offer some tips on how we can overcome this disease together, I spoke to a mosquito control services provider from Top Pest Control and here is his advise…
What We Can do to Fight Dengue
The most direct and effective method is to destroy all possible mosquito breeding ground in and around our homes. Dengue spreads through Aedes mosquitos who have bitten infected people. If we are able to rid our homes of all possible breeding sites, we can effective curb the Aedes mosquito population and in doing so, reduce the occurrence of dengue.
So at least once a week, check your premise to make sure that there are no stagnant water spots. Turnover pots that are not in used and clear any chokes in your water pipes.
And if there are dark, untouched corners in your home, you will want to spray insecticides from time to time as well, especially if you notice an increased mosquito activity. Here’s a useful guide by the NEA on “Safe and Effective Use of Insecticides at Home”…
By doing our part, we can help keep our families as well as the neighbourhood safe from dengue.
Precautions Against Dengue
- Use Mosquito Repellent
- Wear Long Sleeve Clothes and Long Pants
- Avoid Unnecessarily Visits to Dengue Cluster Areas
- Other Precautions
Use Mosquito Repellent
This is especially important if you are staying in a Dengue infected area. But the right type of repellent is important too. Use only repellent that contain at least 10% DEET. Note that a higher concentration of DEET does not make the repellent more effective. Rather, it only makes it last longer.
Wear Long Sleeve Clothes and Long Pants
Again another easy precaution to take is to wear clothes that exposes little skin area. Long sleeve clothing and pants do an excellent job in covering us up and preventing mosquito bites.
Avoid Unnecessarily Visits to Dengue Cluster Areas
The NEA makes public, all known Dengue cluster areas in Singapore. Hence, where possible, avoid unnecessary visits to these areas. And if you must go, take the necessary precautions as outlined above e.g. use mosquito repellent and wear appropriate clothes.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may still see mosquitoes around and about your home. It’s thus a good idea to have mosquito coils on standby at home. Thought not foolproof, they are pretty effective and will definitely lessen your chances of being bitten.
Have mosquito patches on standby by too, especially if you have young kids. Again not foolproof but some protection is always better than none.
Report Suspected Breeding Sites
If your area is festered with an unusually large number of mosquitoes, you may wish to report the situation to the NEA. The mosquitoes have to come from somewhere; it’s an indication that there may be breeding sites around your neighbourhood.
You can call the NEA at this hotline number: 1800-2255-632 or email them at Contact_NEA@nea.gov.sg
We Can Fight Dengue Together!
Like Covid 19, Dengue can be deadly for some. And just like Covid 19, we can overcome Dengue too. By adhering to our Government’s mask mandate, strict social distancing and good person hygiene, we have, as a country, kept Covid 19 community infection rates low. All it takes now is a concerted effort from all of us to identify and destroy all possible nesting areas used by the Aedes mosquito to breed. If we can do this, we will prevail against Dengue as well. So together as Singaporeans, let us do our best to fight Dengue and keep Singapore, our home, safe.