Singapore recorded 11,670 dengue illnesses by May 28, greatly above the 5,258 cases reported throughout 2021. The peak dengue season in Singapore generally begins on June 1. According to experts, the spread in Singapore has been exacerbated by recent harsh weather. The increased number in Singapore is an indication that changes in the global climate could boost dengue outbreaks as more nations suffer prolonged hot weather periods and thunderous storms, which aid in the transmission of both mosquitos and the virus they carry.
Expert team Explain!
Clarence Yeo Sze Kin, who operates a clinic in Singapore, told CNN that as the weather turns hot and dry, more patients come in with dengue. According to Ruklanthi de Alwis, a senior research fellow at Duke-NUS Medical School and a specialist in emerging infectious diseases, the early dengue spike in Singapore is the consequence of a combination of conditions, including recent warm, rainy weather and a new dominant virus strain. She also stated that climate change is expected to exacerbate the situation.
‘Previous prediction modelling studies have shown that global warming due to climate change would eventually extend geographical areas (where mosquitos thrive) as well as the length of dengue transmission seasons,’ she noted. Winston Chow, a climate scientist at Singapore Management University’s College of Integrative Studies, told CNN that dengue cannot be entirely eradicated since the continual weather extremes produce ideal hatching conditions for mosquitoes.
In a worldwide dengue report issued in January 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the illness is currently prevalent in more than 100 nations. It was also said that the number of instances had grown 30 times in the previous 50 years. As per the study, 5.2 million dengue infections were documented in 2019, with outbreaks across Asia killing thousands.
The increase in numbers is cause for alarm, even if scientists predict that extreme heat will become the norm. According to CNN, as the world warms, mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika, chikungunya, and dengue fever will certainly expand and have a significant influence on human health and well-being. According to Chow, the climate scientist, minimizing the risk of dengue fever would become progressively more difficult until the climate situation improves.
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