Singapore has been in the midst of a dengue outbreak recently. There has been a surge of dengue cases and 341 dengue clusters have already been confirmed, which quadrupled the weekly cases in the last three months. That was even before reaching the usual dengue season which is from June to Oct.
So how can we prevent dengue in our homes? Only female Aedes mosquitoes breed. Under normal circumstances, the egg of an Aedes mosquito can hatch in less than a day, then the larva takes four days to develop into a pupa and turns into an adult mosquito after 2 days. After it has bitten a person, it will lay more eggs, and the cycle repeats. It will usually bite during the dawn and the dusk.
Mosquitoes like to breed in stagnant and clean water. These are some tips that can prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
1. Change the water in flower vases
Make sure to change the water in flower vases daily and clean the inner part of the vases. Also, do clean the roots of the flower as mosquito eggs can easily stick onto the roots.
2. Check your pails and watering cans
Make sure your pails and watering cans do not contain water when they are unused as mosquitoes will breed in clean and stagnant water even if the droplet is as small as a 20 cent coin. It’s best to turn your pailsover when not in use.
3. Check your plant pot plates
Always check if there’s water left in plant pot plates, or avoid using the pot plates if possible.
4. Break up hardened soil
Loosen up the soil in the plant pot from time to time, as it can accumulate stagnant water on the surface of the hardened soil.
5. Take your nap in an air-conditioned room
As Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day time, taking a nap in an air conditioned room is recommended. Otherwise, you can opt to nap under a mosquito net.
6. Install a mosquito net at windows and doors
There are various types of nets available in the market, and some can even be custom made for the size of your window and doors. This will keep your mind at ease as you are protected from the Aedes mosquitoes.
7. Cover bamboo pole holders
Rainwater will leak into the pole holders, therefore, it is best to cover the pole holders when not in use.
8. Do not block water in scupper drains
If you are living on the ground floor of HDB flats or if you own a garden, please clear the fallen leaves on the scupper drains as the leaves may collect water and cause blockage in the drain, which results in accumulating stagnant water. This can be done on a weekly basis.
9. Know the Dengue Colour Coded Alert System
To protect yourself and your family from dengue fever and severe dengue, you should familiarise yourself with NEA’s dengue colour-coded alert system. It uses colour-coded banners (yellow, red, or green) to indicate an active dengue cluster and the preventive measures residents can take. When the alert is red, it means that there are more than 10 cases in your neighbourhood, while yellow means 2-9 cases and green means that there are minimal cases.