Published On: Tue, Jun 4th, 2013

Singapore sets record last week with all-time high number of dengue cases

The dengue fever outbreak in Singapore has set an all-time high for a week as the National Environmental Agency (NEA)reported 746 cases for the week of May 26 to June 1, according to the NEA website.

Last week’s total bested the previous record of 713 cases in a week back in Sept. 2005. Singapore reported some 14,000 cases and 25 fatalities that year.


Photo/CDC-James Gathany

According to the NEA, there has been 8,632 cases of the mosquito borne viral disease since the beginning of the year, this contrasts with the 4,632 cases reported through all of last year and 5,330 reported in 2011.

Last week, the NEA and the Singapore Ministry of Health reported the first dengue-related fatality of 2013 in a 20-year-old man.

More than 40 dengue clusters have been identified. The majority of cases are centered in eastern Singapore.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

Dengue fever of multiple types is found in most countries of the tropics and subtropics particularly during and after rainy season.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate 100 million cases annually with an increase in the amount of epidemics reported in many parts of the world in recent years.

There are four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

The Singapore Ministry of Health said the breakdown of infections for this month is 54 percent for Den-1, 28 percent for Den-2, 18 percent for Den-3. Few cases of Den-4 infections were reported.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

The symptoms of classic dengue usually start within a week after being infected. They include very high fever, up to 105°F, severe headache, pain behind the eye, severe joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting and a rash.

Symptoms of DHF include all the symptoms of classic dengue plus severe damage to the blood vessels. Bleeding from the nose, gums or under the skin are common. This form of dengue can be fatal.

Symptoms of DSS include all of the above symptoms plus; fluid leaking outside of blood vessels, massive bleeding and shock. This form of the disease usually happens in children experiencing their second infection.

Two-third of all fatalities occurs among children.

There is no treatment for dengue, just treat the symptoms. Persons who think they have dengue should use analgesics (pain relievers) with acetaminophen and avoid those containing aspirin. They should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and consult a physician.

There is not a vaccine for dengue fever.

Currently, the best preventive measure is to avoid mosquito bites.

See related articles:

Singapore: rugby tournament eye infection outbreak caused by parasite

Singapore continues to see the numbers of dengue and chikungunya fever cases rise VIDEO

Singapore experiencing dengue epidemic in the thousands, being compared to 2005 epidemic

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63


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