Singapore is experiencing what could be her worst dengue outbreak

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Issue 116: 7 June 2022
Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments in healthcare.
Tackling rising dengue infection

Despite ongoing mosquito control efforts, Singapore is experiencing what could be her worst dengue outbreak, with total cases exceeding 12,000 in the first half of 2022. 

The reasons behind this? Warmer temperatures, increased mosquito population, and the re-emergence of a previously uncommon dengue virus stereotype. Beyond these, Dr. Hannah Clapham and Dr. Alex Cook from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health attribute the dengue surge to two broader factors:
  1. Lower population immunity - Due to the government's success in vector control, fewer people have been exposed to dengue and are hence more susceptible to it. 
  2. Better diagnostics - Detection of dengue has become easier and faster with rapid diagnostics now available at GPs. 
The challenge is not just in Singapore. Currently, half the world's population is at risk of dengue fever. A total of 100 to 200 million cases of dengue occur annually and the numbers are rising. The hunt for an effective antiviral and vaccine is ongoing but difficult due to poorly coordinated clinical research and inadequate understanding of the evolving virus.

Until these obstacles are overcome, the strategy against dengue continues to be a combination of B-L-O-C-K-ing mosquito breeding and the use of Wolbachia mosquitos as a suppression strategy to fight dengue. 
Healthcare in the Spotlight
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Clinical trials conducted locally allow patients in Singapore early access to revolutionary therapies and help derive economic benefit from our billion-dollar research investments.

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Source: Inc.

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