Dengue cases down for 4th week in a row

Published: 4:02 AM, July 23, 2013
Updated: 11:34 AM, August 2, 2013

SINGAPORE — The number of dengue cases fell for the fourth consecutive week to 400 cases last week, the lowest rate in nearly four months, according to latest figures from the Ministry of Health (MOH) released yesterday.

There are 81 active dengue clusters as of yesterday, down from the 109 listed last week. The number of high-risk areas with 10 or more cases has also fallen to 28, from the 34 identified last week. A dengue cluster is formed when two or more dengue cases occur within two weeks and the victims’ homes are within 150m of each other.

Posting on his Facebook page, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan wrote: “More encouraging news with dengue decreasing for the fourth week in a row — 400 cases last week. NEA (National Environment Agency) inspectors have also found less mosquito breeding in homes and premises. Let’s press on with our efforts. Stay safe.”

The NEA said 723 breeding habitats were found in homes last month, compared to 1,243 in May. The number of breeding habitats found in outdoor areas also fell to 331 from 544.

Since the start of the year, five people, including one patient who contracted the mosquito-borne disease overseas, have died from dengue. The latest cumulative number of cases stands at 13,373. In 2005, when the worst dengue outbreak hit Singapore, 14,209 people fell ill and 25 died.

Separately, Gleneagles Hospital will set aside up to 12 beds for dengue patients arriving from Changi General Hospital (CGH), the two hospitals announced yesterday. The move is part of the CGH’s contingency plan to manage potential spikes in the dengue situation here. Under the collaboration, which is expected to last between three and six months, CGH patients warded at Gleneagles will continue to retain their subsidy status and be looked after by Gleneagles infectious disease specialists and nurses.

This partnership is the second between CGH and Parkway Pantai, which runs four hospitals here, including Gleneagles. Since last year, Parkway East Hospital has provided CGH with a 30-bed ward to be managed by the CGH team.