Friday, April 07, 2006

Today (7 April 2006) - NEA ups anti-mozzie efforts

Singapore News // Friday, April 7, 2006
NEA ups anti-mozzie efforts

Checks for breeding sites to intensify as dengue cases are expected to go up as weather turns warmer

EXPECT a knock on your door at least once every six months from National Environment Agency (NEA) officers looking for potential breeding habitats of mosquitoes.
.These efforts, which are expected to reach an approximate 1.1 million households and other public premises, are part of an ongoing surveillance system started since January this year.
.Though the number of dengue cases has dropped for the first quarter, compared to the same period last year, NEA is stepping up its efforts against the Aedes mosquito.From January to March last year, there were over 2,800 cases of dengue reported. For the same period this year, the number was 749.
.But as Singapore heads for a warmer and wetter season, NEA will intensify the combing of public areas for a month, starting from April 17.
.Said Environmental Health Department head Dalson Chung: "With the warmer months that are coming up in May, June and July ... based on the last year's trend, we can expect the dengue cases to go up.
."So, to reverse this trend, we will be intensifying our search-and-destroy operations ... At the same time, we'd also like to urge all the households to continue to be vigilant and practice their 10-minute, 5-step Mozzie Wipeout campaign.
."Together, I think we can reduce the number of breedings in homes and also outside homes."
.NEA will also designate inspectors to the various constituencies in Singapore to work with officers from town councils and the Inter-Agency Task Force, deploying up to 1,500 inspectors for the task.
.The inspectors will conduct checks on all premises in Singapore every three to six months. "Breeding is the only thing we can step up on for dengue prevention, since other factors such as temperature, weather and our immune system to the virus is out of our control," said Mr Chung.
.For homes found with potential breeding grounds, NEA officers will educate and give verbal advice on ways to eliminate them.
.But $100 fines will be issued if actual mosquito larvae are found in the home. The amount will be doubled for repeat offences. — Cheow Xin Yi


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