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Dengue Fever Cases in Singapore Nears Record Level

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Singapore has seen cases of dengue fever, a sometimes fatal disease carried by mosquitos, rising sharply to near record levels this year, and efforts are being stepped up to stop it, a senior official said.

The wealthy city state has sent out teams of volunteers to scour housing estates and parks to eliminate breeding sites in a project dubbed “mozzie attack.”Dengue fever, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has become a major international public health concern, with the World Health Organization issuing an alert on Sept. 2 due to a resurgence of cases in the region.”There is a global up-surge in dengue cases this year,” Yaacob Ibrahim, minister for the environment and water resources, told parliament on Tuesday, referring to WHO findings.”We are still unable to determine if the situation has stabilized,” he said of the Singapore.Singapore, with a population of just over four million, had suffered 5,248 dengue cases by Sept. 18 — a 48 percent rise over the same period in 2003. The highest number of dengue fever cases recorded in the island republic was in 1998 at 5,258.Three people have died from the disease this year.Dengue fever killed six people last year when the number of cases hit a five-year high of 4,772.Dengue fever strikes the island hardest during the warmer months of July to September, the minister said.Dalson Chung, in charge of operations including dengue at the National Environment Agency, said 98 percent of the cases in Singapore are of a mild form of the disease. The more dangerous dengue hemorrhagic fever can be fatal.The WHO has issued a dengue alert for the region, noting outbreaks in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.Indonesia had recorded the second-highest number of cases in 20 years, with a total of 69,017 cases and 770 deaths as of the end of July, it said. (Source: Reuters, Sept 2004)

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Posted On: 24 September, 2004
Modified On: 4 December, 2013

Created by: myVMC