Singapore—The National Environment Agency has fined around 900 households for “breeding mosquitoes” due to failure to clean up stagnant water and unintentionally leaving water containers uncovered. The households were fined at least S$200.
The Woodlands cluster area—consisting of Woodlands Avenue 6, Circle, Crescent and Drives 60, 70 and 7—showed the highest proportion of mosquito breeding grounds at 85 percent. The cluster also had the highest number of dengue cases since the beginning of the year.
Most households during the inspection have perhaps carelessly set up breeding grounds for mosquito larvae by failing to cover water containers or clean up stagnant water.
The NEA is alarmed by the continuing increase in dengue infections. In a statement, the NEA said that “The dengue transmission is therefore not localised, and everyone has to be alert to the threat.”
Dengue is spreading at such a high rate with 5,184 infected cases as of mid-June 2019. Last year during roughly the same period, only 1,242 case of dengue were recorded. The NEA conducted 372,000 inspections and found 6,500 cases of mosquito breeding habitats in household cluster areas.
In a similar and alarming vein, cases of dengue with hemorrhagic fever reached a record high of 41 cases. In Singapore, five people have already died from dengue in 2019, most of them senior citizens who did not show the usual symptoms of the disease.
Climate change has affected the growth and spread of dengue. Due to increasingly warm temperatures, mosquitoes have expanded their breeding ground and expedited their growth periods.
Associate Professor Ng Lee Ching of the NEA added that ‘low herd immunity’ is also one of the reasons that caused a dengue outbreak in the country.
“When we say we have low herd immunity and that we are very sensitive to outbreaks, that means that we just need a few mosquitoes to have an outbreak,” Prof Ng said in a report by the Straits Times.
The NEA will continue to inspect and reprimand households that create, even though unintentionally, breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The agency encourages people to practice help eliminating mosquito breeding at home by practising the 5-step mozzie wipeout. -/TISG