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Singapore records sharp rise in dengue cases amid warmer weather

Singapore records sharp rise in dengue cases amid warmer weather

Singapore recorded a nearly 50 percent increase in dengue infections in the first 4 1/2 months of this year compared to the same period in 2006, authorities said Monday.
Dengue cases reported from the start of January to May 12 rose to 1,488 _ up from 993 in the corresponding period last year, the Health Ministry said in an e-mailed response to questions.
Singapore had 180 new cases of dengue reported last week, the ministry said. That figure is an all-time high, according to local TV news station Channel NewsAsia.
The ministry said the spike is likely due to warmer weather during this period of the year.
"Warmer weather facilitates an increase in mosquito activity ... and a higher rate of multiplication of the dengue virus in infected mosquitoes," the ministry said.
Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the sharp rise could be caused by a different strain of the virus spreading in the tropical city-state of 4.5 million, The Straits Times newspaper reported.
One man is believed to have died this year from dengue fever, the paper said. But the Health Ministry said no dengue death cases had been reported to authorities this year.
Health officials have been combing public housing estates in search of mosquito breeding sites. Dengue-carrying insects can breed in tiny pools of water found in flower pots, discarded bottles or cans, or old tires.
Like several other Southeast Asian countries, Singapore reported a higher-than-usual number of dengue infections in 2005.
The disease, which causes joint pain, high fever, nausea and a rash, is endemic to the region. In severe cases, it leads to internal bleeding and sometimes death.
At least 19 out of Singapore's 4.2 million people died in 2005 from the disease.


Updated : 2021-10-24 11:45 GMT+08:00