NEA: Expect more mosquitoes and more dengue cases

May 21, 2018

The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore said that the mosquito population is expected to increase along with the number of dengue cases in the warmer months ahead.

Through its Gravitrap surveillance system, NEA has found that the mosquito population remained high with 22 per cent more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter, thus posing a risk of an increase in dengue cases.

The warmer months of June to October usually see higher transmission of dengue in Singapore, due to accelerated breeding and maturation cycles of the Aedes mosquitoes and shorter incubation periods for the dengue virus.NEA is thus expecting an increasing trend in cases in the warmer months ahead.

Members of the public have been urged to continue to work together as a community to stem dengue transmission.NEA, together with the various agencies and other stakeholders represented in the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force (IADTF) have stepped up checks leading up to the traditional peak dengue season to rid public areas and housing estates of potential mosquito breeding habitats.

From January to March 2018, NEA conducted about 265,000 inspections, including 2,400 inspections carried out at construction sites, and it has uncovered about 4,200 instances of mosquito breeding habitats.

Meanwhile, Phase 2 of the Project Wolbachia study has also begun. The study is being conducted at the same Phase 1sites (Tampines West and Nee Soon East)

The project involves the use of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to suppress the Aedes aegypti mosquito population in Singapore.

So far, the study has provided “valuable ecological information” on the behaviour of mosquitoes in Singapore, NEA said.The Phase 2 study is expected to build on that and improve the release methodologies in Singapore’s high-rise and high-density urban environment.While NEA explores the potential of Wolbachia technology, source eradication of mosquito breeding habitats and spraying of insecticides where necessary to control the adult mosquito population, will continue to be the key strategy for dengue prevention in Singapore.



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