Thursday, May 25, 2006

CNA (25 May 2006) - 117 dengue cases in May, NEA steps up public education

Posted: 25 May 2006 1843 hrs

117 dengue cases in May, NEA steps up public education
By Dominique Loh, Channel NewsAsia

The National Environment Agency has again upped its ante on dengue, in anticipation of the warmer months ahead when conditions are most ideal for the Aedes mosquito to breed. The number of dengue cases in the first few weeks of May was 117. Although this figure is still below the 449 reported in the same period last year, the NEA is stepping up its public education programme to stem the tide. As NEA officers comb households throughout Singapore, more and more breeding sites are cropping up. 17 sites out of every 10,000 HDB homes visited in April were found to be breeding mosquitoes compared to just four in March. For apartment homes, 33 mosquito-breeding sites were found - 24 more than in March. Even more were found in landed homes, with the number doubling from 50 in March to nearly 120 in April. To educate home owners of its five-step 10-minute daily routine that can help reduce mosquito-breeding sites, the NEA is sending out information packs. Virtually all households in Singapore will receive a pack containing information on how you can prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your home. NEA hopes to complete the distribution to the more than one million households in Singapore by early June. And with the upcoming June holidays, the NEA has some useful travel tips as well. Said Dalson Chung from NEA's environmental health department: "Before they leave home for the holidays, I'd like to urge the public to seal up the gully traps, make sure the mosquito does not go in and breed. Also, the toilet bowl, they can cover it. For the plants, they can put in insecticides to prevent breeding in stagnant water." The NEA is also urging the public not to litter because it is one of the major contributing factors. Discarded garbage can be a potential water receptacle for breeding sites. - CNA/ir

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