Dengue Fever: An overview of the daily preventive measures, best repellents, dengue vaccines & a quick word on our dengue insurance plans!
Singapore has witnessed an unprecedented global pandemic, as well as a record number of weekly dengue cases surpassing the ‘historical high’ all within a span of a mere 7 months. At the time of writing, there have been over 14,000 dengue cases and 27 deaths reported.
As the old adage goes, “prevention is better than cure”. Despite this, it is nonetheless vital to be equipped with the knowledge to recognise the symptoms of dengue fever so that you can nip the problem in the bud. With that being said, as long as you adopt these 3 practices, you would drastically reduce your chances of being the next Dengue victim.
1. Prevent Mosquito Breeding at Home
When it comes to the prevention of dengue fever in Singapore, curbing mosquito breeding at home is of utmost importance. Mosquitoes thrive on clear, stagnant water and can breed in a puddle that is about the size and depth of a 20-cent coin. To keep your abode safe from unwanted guests, be sure to do the following:
- Spray insecticide in the dark corners of your house and burn repellent oils inside your home
- Turn over water storage containers (e.g. pails) and keep them dry when not in use
- Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use
- Loosen hardened soil in potted plants to prevent accumulation of stagnant water on surface
- Change water in flower vases
- Remove water from flower/plant pot plates
2. Protect Yourself Against Mosquito Bites
Mosquito repellent is one of the greatest weapons against dengue fever in Singapore. A pro tip here is to use mosquito repellent that contains DEET. According to the National Environmental Agency (NEA), repellent products containing DEET as the active ingredient is one of the most effective in repelling mosquitoes.
Another precaution that you can take would be to wear long, covered clothing to reduce the exposure of your skin to mosquitoes. You can also use mosquito nets or switch on the air conditioner when sleeping.
To be extra safe, avoid visiting areas that have been identified as dengue clusters. A dengue cluster is formed when 2 or more dengue cases occur within 14 days and the homes of the afflicted are within 150m of one another. Be sure to regularly check and keep yourself updated on the latest dengue clusters. If you do have to visit one of the dengue clusters, be sure to lather up on the mosquito repellent and cover up to keep the mozzies at bay.
3. Dengue Vaccination
Dengvaxia, the world’s first ever dengue vaccine produced by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, was approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) Singapore in 2016 for the prevention of dengue infection caused by dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 in individuals aged 12 to 45 years.
It is important to note that although the vaccine “provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection”, an analysis done by Sanofi found that if used in individuals who have never been infected by the virus before, the vaccination could result in more severe cases of the disease upon a subsequent dengue infection. You should speak to your doctor about the benefits and downsides of the dengue vaccine, as well as to find out if you are suitable for the vaccine before deciding whether or not to get it.
The fight against dengue has been a long and arduous one and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. This underscores the importance of getting yourself financially protected with our PRUPersonal Accident Plan*, which also covers you and your family for dengue fever protection, on top of doing all of the above.
As long as we follow these measures and play our part, we will eventually be able to overcome this seemingly insurmountable disease one mosquito at a time.