Woman Bitten by Sandflies While Dining at Sengkang Outdoor Food Court

In Singapore, there’s one kind of insect that everyone hates and fears, regardless of how much you love animals.


But it seems like these pesky, blood-sucking insects that leave us with itchy bites aren’t the only insects that we have to keep a lookout for in Singapore.

Here’s another insect that you should probably siam from whenever you see it, unless you want to end up itching all over afterwards.

Woman Ended Up With 40 Sandfly Bites at Sengkang Foodcourt

Recently, a woman surnamed Cai spoke to Shin Min Daily News about her unpleasant encounter with sandfly bites while dining in at a foodcourt in Sengkang.

The lady, who encountered the sandflies last Friday (29 July) night, was dining with her friends at Essen Dining and Bar, a foodcourt located at Anchorvale Community Centre located in Sengkang Sports Centre.

She added that it was her third time dining there, but her first time sitting at the outdoor dining area to have her meal.

Less than half an hour after sitting down, both of her legs began itching.

She did not pay much attention to the itchiness while having her meal, but she realised after reaching home that there were many red and swollen bites on both of her legs.

After counting, she realised that she had been bitten 40 times in total on both legs.

She also explained that the bites were definitely not mosquito bites as they were itchy for several days, and the itch got intolerable after a while as well.

Bites Have Yet to Subside Even After 6 Days, 3 Other Friends Got Bitten Too

She also shared that she has applied ointment on the bites for six days, but they have yet to subside and are still itchy. She also expressed her worry regarding the bites leaving her with scars.

Apart from that, she also shared that she visited the food court with eight other people that day, and three of them ended up with sandfly bites like her as well.

Mosquito Coil Provided, But Ineffective Against Sandfly Bites

The woman then clarified that the foodcourt provided patrons with mosquito coils, but felt that the coils were not effective against sandfly bites as they lit the coils but still got bitten anyway.

After getting increasingly annoyed and upset at her dining experience, she took to STOMP to post about it and contacted the foodcourt management as well.

In her STOMP submission, she explained that the management did not put up any notices informing patrons about sandflies being present in large numbers in the outdoor sitting area.

She then highlighted that they should put up such notices so that patrons, particularly young children and the elderly, are fully aware of the risk before they choose to sit in the outdoor seating area.

Foodcourt Management’s Responses

When speaking to Shin Min, a representative from foodcourt’s management confirmed that they had received a complaint regarding the sandfly bites at the premises.

He also revealed that they have received multiple complaints of similar nature.

The representative then added that the foodcourt provides patrons with mosquito coils, and has ordered more of them for patrons to use as well.

Apart from that, the foodcourt will also be increasing its indoor seating capacity by 50 more people.

According to the lady that spoke to Shin Min, the foodcourt management team replied to her by saying that they spray insecticide in the foodcourt twice a week, and that UV-light insect catchers are also installed in their outdoor premises.

Apart from that, the management shared that they are currently in touch with the National Environmental Agency (NEA) to find out how to better solve this issue.

NEA also fogs the area on a regular basis, according to the reply from the management team.

The management also suggested for her to sit indoors to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

In response to their reply, she explained that she did not choose to sit in the outdoor sitting area on her own accord, but instead had no choice but to sit outdoors since there were no seats available indoors.

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When Individuals Should Seek Medical Attention for Sandfly Bites

When interviewed by Shin Min, Dr Tan Eileen, a dermatologist from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, explained that sandflies usually bite humans in swarms, leaving us with multiple round bites after being bitten.

She added that different individuals may react differently to the bites, and that those with sensitive skin may be affected more if bitten by sandflies.

The bites may leave individuals with red spots and blisters, while those who have more severe reactions may end up with severe blisters on their bodies.

Dr Tan also recommended individuals who have been bitten to purchase anti-itching cream and apply it to the bites in the early stages of recovery.

However, those who experience fevers after getting bitten should seek medical attention promptly.

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Featured Image: Google Maps + Shin Min Daily News