42 hit by dengue in St Patrick’s Road

February 12, 2013

SINGAPORE – Forty-two residents in the landed homes in St Patrick’s Road have come down with dengue fever as the epidemic goes into its fifth week with the number of infections continuing to soar.

Last week, 296 people caught the viral infection with another 275 falling ill since Sunday.

Despite the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) intensified efforts to stem mosquito breeding, the biggest cluster of cases in the East Coast/Telok Kurau area – which includes St Patrick’s Road – has seen the number of sick people hit 120.

Residents along St Patrick’s Road are taking precautions as they see family members and neighbours falling ill.

Accounts manager Alice Ang, 40, said her family now uses mosquito nets when they sleep and repellent in the day.

They started this regimen after she and her brother fell ill. There is a construction site near their terraced house, which she thinks might be the source of the mosquitoes.

The nearby St Patrick’s Secondary School has been sending out alerts to the parents of its students. It has also hired a pest control firm to ensure no larva breeds on its premises.

The majority of infections in this cluster are by the Den-1 virus, which caused 19 per cent of infections last year and 24 per cent this year. The most active virus remains the Den-2, accounting for 63 per cent of infections this year.

Experts worry that a change in strain could cause a huge epidemic as few people would be immune. Once infected, a person gains immunity against that strain of virus.

But should he get infected by any of the other three strains, he would probably become more sick, possibly even getting the severe dengue haemorrhagic fever where bleeding from the gums and other parts of the body can occur.

Because of that, the NEA has paid special attention to clusters plagued by the Den-1 virus, with help from other agencies such as the National Parks Board and town councils. It tries to destroy mosquito breeding sites, as the disease is vector-borne.

Category: Community

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