This year’s dengue outbreak is scary. So far this year, there’ve been 4,756 (1 Jan – 19 Apr) cases, and it looks like it might increase some more.
I’ve previously tweeted and posted on Facebook about this, and the reflex response from readers have been the same: “too much construction lah, it’s all in the construction sites”.
The NEA has reported that the majority of sites found to have bred mosquitoes have been homes. Now I’m not saying that the construction sites are not responsible at all, but the fact remains that no matter how much you want to blame someone else or some other site for the spread of this disease, the solution to breaking the vector cycle of is still firmly in your own hands.
Dengue is not an airborne transmitted disease – it is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which gets the virus from an infected person it stings. So the way to stopping the spread of the disease is to eradicate the breeding of the mosquito – which you will probably know, occurs in stagnant water.
The NEA has a dengue website at www.dengue.gov.sg with statistics and information pertaining to the disease. We’ve all seen in the papers news about the huge “cluster” of dengue in the one block in Tampines, and the dengue website has a map of “hotspots” as well.
This is both helpful and unhelpful, because while you are aware enough to avoid going to these hotspots for instance, you might downplay the fact that regardless of hotspots and clusters, people (the other vector) are mobile. They could get bitten, come back home to Toa Payoh, get bitten by another Aedes mosquito, and voila, another cluster and hotspot is created.
This outbreak has been so serious that the NEA has also implemented a Dengue Community Alert System, which displays three colour codes depending on the dengue situation, and the corresponding actions to take.
I hope you get the picture, and I appeal to everyone to “Do The Mozzie Wipeout”, a 5-step exercise to perform every day:
1. Change water in vases (on alternate days, if not daily)
2. Turn over all water storage containers so they don’t collect rainwater
3. Remove water from flower pot plates (on alternate days, if not daily)
4. Clear drainpipe blockages
5. Cover bamboo pole holders
The national anti-dengue campaign will be launched tomorrow (8am, 28 April) at Senja-Cashew Community Club, 101 Bukit Panjang Road. Do come if you can.
Again, I appeal to you to take action and not simply blame it on the construction sites. Naomi and I had a very serious close shave with Kai’s bout of dengue – and I will recount that ordeal in another blog post.