Singapore Grapples With Deadly Dengue as Fever Rages Alongside Covid-19

Singapore is on track to record its worst dengue outbreak in history, with new weekly cases that have surpassed Covid-19 cases in the city-state.

Recorded cases of the disease reached 1,736 in the week ending July 18, the highest number of weekly infections ever recorded, according to the country’s National Environment Agency. Dengue, also known as break-bone fever, is spread via mosquito bites and can cause symptoms like fever and body aches.

Deaths from dengue are creeping up even as health authorities in the country continue to grapple with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. So far this year, 19 people have died of dengue, the Straits Times reported Monday, about two-thirds the reported death toll of 27 people from Covid-19. Like dengue, new Covid-19 cases are still averaging a triple-digit daily rise, though the figure has tapered off somewhat from previous months.

The country’s environmental agency has warned that the total number of dengue cases this year — currently at more than 18,900 cases — is expected to surpass a historical high of over 22,000 reported in 2013. Last week, Singapore announced stiffer penalties for households and businesses repeatedly found with mosquito breeding grounds on their premises, while vector control efforts like fogging have increased.

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