I just realized that this is the fourth year in a row I am writing on dengue prevention (last year I wrote this). But I had a scare a few weeks ago, when I was suspected of having dengue (it turned out to be food poisoning and fever). And another friend had a dengue attack just weeks before a church Christmas production (he got well, thank goodness). Both cases reminded me that dengue is still out there
2013 was a year when dengue cases were very high. NEA projects that dengue cases this year could go up to 30,000. That is higher than the record in 2013 when 22,170 cases were reported.
Already the weekly cases from Jan – Mar were much more than compared to 2015. That is not a good way to start 2016. Apparently this is due to El Nino causing warmer weather conditions, high mosquito population and a change of the main circulating virus. Warm conditions make mozzies breed and mature faster. It's like a summer honeymoon for them.
Go check out the dengue clusters from dengue.gov.sg, and see that many of the hotspots are in residential areas. Because a majority of mosquito breeding habitats are found in homes.
Our homes, people. The mozzies are breeding in our homes and disrespecting us!
It's such a serious situation that the big stick is coming down. At this year's Mozzie Wipeout campaign launch, the NEA announced a step up in enforcement measures — any homes found with mosquito breeding are liable for a fine, as opposed to only those found in dengue clusters. Nobody likes to be fined but tough times need tough measures.
But besides enforcement, NEA is also deploying gravitraps to monitor and suppress mosquito population, as well as drones to check for mosquito breeding in areas that are hard to reach. There are also breakthroughs in dengue vaccines that are being tested for viability for use in Singapore.
I would like to see those drones in action myself. That's pretty cool use of tech.
So please please please lah, help yourself and your family and help your neighbours and do your part.
Doing the Mozzie Wipeout is very easy: Turn the pail, flip the plate, tip the vase, cap the pole holder, clear the gutter. So catchy, maybe I should write another Mozzie Wipeout song like I did last time.
I didn't manage to get on TV news with the new Minister this year (heng ah, I have a tendency of photobombing these events hor?) but I still say: dengue must die. So do the 5-Step Mozzie Wipeout. Stop the breeding, you stop the dengue transmissions, it is as simple as that.