According to official statistics from Singapore, the tropical city-state saw a nearly 50 percent jump in dengue infections in the first trimester of this year compared to the same period in 2006.
Dengue cases reported from the start of January to May 12 rose to 1,488, an increase from 993 in the corresponding period last year, the Health Ministry of Singapore was quoted.
AdvertisementExperts cite this figure as an all time high, with 180 new cases of dengue reported last week. According to the Health Ministry, the spike in dengue cases is likely due to warmer weather during this period of the year.
"Warmer weather facilitates an increase in mosquito activity ... and a higher rate of multiplication of the dengue virus in infected mosquitoes," the ministry was reported.
Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the sharp rise could be caused by a different strain of the virus spreading in Singapore.
So far, one man is believed to have died this year from dengue fever. The Health Ministry has not reported any other dengue death cases.
Health officials have been combing public housing estates in search of mosquito breeding sites.
Dengue is the most important mosquito-transmitted viral disease in terms of morbidity and mortality. It usually affects people living in tropical regions and it manifests with a sudden episode of mosquito-transmitted viral disease. Accordingly, dengue-carrying insects can breed in tiny pools of water found in flowerpots, discarded bottles or cans, or old tires.
Like several other Southeast Asian countries, Singapore reported a higher-than-usual number of dengue infections in 2005. The disease is endemic to the region.
A more serious form of Dengue fever is called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). These affect a small proportion of patients who are affected by dengue fever.
At least 19 out of Singapore's 4.2 million people died in 2005 from the disease.