The weather is getting warmer, with local median ambient temperatures expected to hit 28 degrees and above in April. This warmer weather usually seen in Singapore for the months of April to September is likely to bring about more dengue fever cases as both the Aedes mosquitoes and virus thrive when it hots up. NEA is thus in the midst of a three-month Intensive Source Reduction Exercise (ISRE) which targets mosquito breeding habitats nationwide.
500 officers are now sweeping that surround all 11,000 HDB blocks in all 84 constituencies in Singapore. Mosquito breedings lurking in areas like perimeter drains, void decks, common corridors, rooftops, carparks and bin centres will be searched out and destroyed. These operations to target also landed property estates and condominiums within housing areas will be carried out for four weeks and started on April 9.
Members of the Interagency Dengue Task Force will also be participating in the ISRE, searching for and destroying possible breeding grounds in the facilities, premises, buildings and land parcels they are in charge of.
So while all this is going on, does the public need to do anything? The answer is a resounding yes!
We urge the public to put a high priority on preventing stagnant water in their homes during the upcoming months:
- Change water in vases/bowls on alternate days
- Turn over all water storage containers
- Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use
- Clear Blockages and put BTI insecticide in roof gutters monthly
- Remove water from flower pot plates on alternate days
The public need to pay more attention to the steps relevant to them. Indeed, in a survey of 1,200 respondents conducted by NEA last year only half said they were practising all the all the steps relevant to their homes.
Trends of a change in the predominant virus strain from Den-1 to Den-2 are also being observed. Globally a serotype switch is often associated with increase in cases. This is mostly attributed to the immunity developed for one serotype, which offers little or no protection to another serotype. While it’s too soon to tell its impact, all this means a greater need now for the public to join in the nationwide efforts and prevent the mosquitoes from breeding in our homes.
Stop Dengue. Act Now!