You might have noticed that NEA officers are more vigilant in their lookout for potential dengue breeding grounds.
Personal anecdote: Just in the past 2 weeks, NEA officers have knocked on my doors at least three times.
At the start of June, we warned that dengue cases were on the rise, so seeing more of those NEA officers doing their work shouldn’t be surprising.
In that article, we said, “the number of dengue cases since the beginning of the year has been abnormally high; there have been 300 to 400 new dengue cases weekly.
But last week, there were 735 cases—the highest we’ve seen since the peak dengue years in 2013 and 2014.”
Bring out your celebration champagne if you’re rooting against the humans for Earth: Season 2020, cause we have just achieved a new record:
Nearly 200 Dengue Infections Every Day
That escalated quickly.
Until 2020, weekly infections never went to 900 cases or even 800 per week. Quick math: 200 infections every day for a week is 1400 cases.
In the week ending 20 June 2020, there were 1,374 cases. And in the first 5 days of last week, it’s 1,138. That makes it three consecutive weeks all topping 1,000 a week.
Which brings our total infection this year to more than 13,500 people (link is Straits Times premium). Historically, there were only four years that the annual number of infections is higher than this.
Yep. We’re comparing against annual numbers when our calendar only shows June.
The total deaths this year from the viral infection, as of 23 June 2020, is 16. They were aged between 49 to 82, with 14 of them having worked or resided in active dengue clusters.
I want to get off the wild ride of 2020.
Currently 323 Active Clusters, 110 Designated As High Risk
If you clicked on the ST premium article, you might notice that the numbers there are 307 active clusters and 102 high risk. So why are the numbers we have higher? Cause numbers are constantly being updated on NEA’s site.
So yeah, we’re also increasing in our number of clusters. High risk is defined as 10 or more people infected within 150 m of each other in a two-week period.
There are 11 clusters with more than 100 cases, the biggest being the Woodleigh area in Potong Pasir with 217 infected.
The Potong Pasir constituency also happens to have four large clusters with more than 100 infected. In fact, their infections this year was more than the total for the past five years.
So Why Are Potong Pasir Numbers So High?
As our previous article explained, the mosquitoes responsible for dengue primarily live indoor and bite during the day. So with work from home, we’ve created a buffet for these mosquitoes and the perfect breeding environment for them.
Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, the incumbent MP for the constituency, said: “The number of infections have been coming down significantly over the past two weeks.”
As he explains, the numbers are high because they are cumulative, and the outbreak in his constituency is being closely monitored.
Chairman of Potong Pasir’s Citizens’ Consultative Committee, Mr Chua Kian Meng, said he has been really concerned since the cluster started in April.
But because of the circuit breaker, they couldn’t get workers to maintain the drains and common areas. This was also the case for condominiums.
Wait, so you mean these workers weren’t considered essential?
When the measures were eased, he brought in four companies to cut grass that had grown to more than 30cm height.
Construction Sites Are A Hotspot For Mosquito Breeding
The NEA website explains that construction sites are particularly worrying because they “can easily become the foci of dengue transmission”.
The NEA takes “stringent action against errant contractors at construction sites found to be poorly maintained, favourable for mosquito breeding and/or breeding mosquitoes.”
As it turns out, a Lian Beng Construction was issued a stop-work order on 24 June for mosquito breeding for their worksite at Potong Pasir Avenue 1.
Possible Largest-Ever Dengue Epidemic This Year
If the numbers at the front weren’t enough to scare you already, the NEA also warns that this year might be the largest-ever dengue epidemic here.
So, do the 5 step mozzie wipe-out, don’t treat Gravitraps as ashtrays or rubbish bins, and watch out for dengue symptoms.
Symptoms for dengue include fever, severe headache with pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.
If you have dengue haemorrhagic fever, your gums and nose may bleed and bruise easily.
If you have been infected before, you may be protected from that strain, but you can still be infected by the three other strains of dengue virus.
And if you come from the future, I would like to know if 2020 gets better.
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