Everything About DenV-3, The New Dengue Strain That Could Infect More S’poreans Than COVID-19

While Singapore is in the midst of fighting the Wuhan coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, we’ll have more to worry about soon: dengue outbreak.

Dengue Infections Rising

Since mid-December, the number of dengue cases reported has been increasing steadily.

It peaked at 404 cases in mid-January. Then, it dropped for the following week, then increased again thereafter.

Image: NEA

Just this year alone, the number of dengue infections per week ranges between 303 and 404.

In 2019, Singapore experienced the third-highest number of deaths from dengue infection: 20.

And the number of cases this year exceeds last year’s over the same period. Way more than COVID-19.

But there’s more.

DenV-3, A “New-Old” Strain of Dengue Virus

Earlier this year, NEA warned about a strain of dengue, DenV-3, that could make things even worse in Singapore.

DenV-3 Virus hasn’t been detected in Singapore in the past three decades. Most of the dengue outbreaks in Singapore are caused by two strains, DENV-1 and DENV-2, with the latter being the more dominant strain since way back in 2016.

And because most Singaporeans haven’t been infected by the DenV-3 before, the population immunity for DenV-3 is extremely low.

This will also result in higher rates of transmission.

There Might Be A Switch

NEA is warning Singaporeans about a possible switch in dominant serotype to the DenV-3.

Over the past three months, the number of DenV-3 cases has been increasing.

And while it’s too early to determine, NEA said that they’ve been observing a higher proportion of DenV-3 cases (47%) as compared to the DenV-2 cases (39%).

If a switch were to really happen, we can expect to see the number of dengue cases in Singapore soar to new heights.

“The high Aedes aegypti mosquito population in the community, current high number of dengue cases, and increase in circulation of DenV-3 serotype, could lead to weekly dengue cases rising above current levels in 2020.” 

In other words, a dengue outbreak.

What Can You Do About It?

Unlike the COVID-9, we can do something about dengue infections in Singapore.

By doing the mozzie-wipeout.

Image: NEA

At the time of writing, there are 114 active dengue clusters with the largest at:

  • Begonia Drive (166 cases)
  • Gangsa Road (96 cases)
  • Jalan Kembangan (85 cases)
  • Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 (67 cases)
  • Jurong West St 91 (57 cases)
dengue clusters
Image: NEA

Out of the 114 clusters observed, 23 of them are code red.

You can read the entire list here.


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NEA is asking for Singaporeans to work together with them to curb the growth of more clusters.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:
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This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying: