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Singapore’s dengue “emergency” heralds global climate change

Singapore’s dengue “emergency” heralds global climate change


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Singapore says it is facing an “emergency” of dengue fever as it works on the outbreak of an unusual seasonal disease earlier this year.

The number of city-states in Southeast Asia has already exceeded 11,000, well above the 5,258 reported throughout 2021, before the peak season of dengue traditionally began on June 1.

Experts warn that the tropical climate is a tough number not only for Singapore, the natural breeding ground for Aedes aegypti, which carries the virus, but also for other parts of the world. This is because global climate change is likely to make such outbreaks more common and widespread in the coming years.

Dengue fever is not a fun illness.Because of that Flu-like symptoms High fever, severe headache, body pain, etc. In extreme cases, it can lead to bleeding, respiratory distress, organ failure and even death.

“”[Cases] Singapore’s Interior Minister, Dengue Tongue, is undoubtedly rising rapidly as a bystander for neighborhood inspections of dengue mosquitoes. “ “Now we have to deal with it, it’s an urgent emergency.”

According to experts, the outbreak in Singapore has been exacerbated by recent extreme weather events, and as more countries experience prolonged heat spells and thunderstorms that help spread both mosquitoes and viruses, the problem becomes another. They carry, which can be a precursor to what happens in place.

“The disease is currently endemic in more than 100 countries,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a global dengue report in January 2022, stating that cases have increased “30 times over the last 50 years.” ..

“As the disease spreads to new areas, not only is the number of cases increasing, but explosive outbreaks are occurring.”

On July 6, 2021, workers sprayed pesticides to combat dengue fever in Singapore.

According to the WHO, a record 5.2 million dengue fever worldwide was recorded in 2019, killing thousands of people in the Asian outbreak that year. Hundreds of people have died in the Philippines, Millions or more Endangered as the country declared National dengue fever outbreakIn Bangladesh, hospitals were overwhelmed. And in Afghanistan, the transmission was recorded for the first time.

Singapore Worst dengue fever Historically, the following year, 35,315 cases and 28 deaths were recorded.

In Singapore, where dengue has been epidemic for decades this year, so far there has been only one death from dengue, but as the number of cases increases, authorities are missing out on opportunities.

“As of May 28, 2022, approximately 11,670 cases of dengue fever have been reported this year. [with] About 10% of cases require hospitalization, “a Singapore Ministry of Health spokesman told CNN.

According to a spokeswoman, recent surges have increased hospital admissions for dengue fever in the hospital’s emergency department, but at a “manageable level.”

However, as the peak season has just begun, medical professionals and doctors like Clarence Yeo Sze Kin have said they could set a record for case numbers this year.

“Dengue fever is a seasonal illness, and when it gets hot and dry, you usually start to see more patients coming in,” he said.

Yeo, who runs a clinic in downtown Singapore, has witnessed a “surge” in the number of patients with dengue-related illnesses.

“Dengue fever may be endemic, but it’s still not an easy disease to treat,” Yeo added.

A spokesperson for the ministry said most cases of dengue do not require hospitalization or intensive care. “But some individuals can develop severe, potentially fatal dengue fever.”

“We remind the medical community of proper clinical management of dengue cases and remember to maintain a high level of clinical suspicion when examining patients with fever.”

The surge in dengue fever in Singapore is the result of multiple factors, including recent warm and moist weather and new predominant viral strains, said Ruklanthide Alwis, a senior researcher at Duke-NUS School of Medicine and a new infectious disease expert. Says.

But climate change is likely to make things worse, she said. “Past predictive modeling studies have shown that global warming due to climate change will ultimately increase the geographic area (the area where mosquitoes breed) and the length of the dengue transmission season,” de Alwis said. Says.

According to the Singapore Meteorological Bureau, Southeast Asian countries Heats twice as fast As the rest of the world. Meteorological scientists warn that if carbon emissions continue to increase, daily maximum temperatures could reach 37 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Temperatures reached a record high of 36.7 degrees Celsius in May amid high humidity recently.

According to Koh Tieh Yong, a meteorological scientist at the University of Social Sciences in Singapore, rising temperatures are expected to be the norm.

“The last 10 years have been very warm. Compared to 50 years ago, we are now experiencing about 12 or more warm days and 12 or more warm nights.”

Southeast Asia is “extremely concerned about climate change,” Ko said, but “currently it is not possible to scientifically delineate the link between localized heavy rainfall and climate change.” rice field.

Storm clouds in western Singapore.

Other experts said Singapore’s annual dengue problem is likely to be exacerbated given the protracted hot weather and heavy monsoon trends.

Winston Chow, a climate scientist at the Faculty of Integrated Studies, Singapore University of Business, said:

Butterflies that develop dengue fever twice I lamented that the scale of the problem was expanding. “When it comes to adaptation, Singapore has good health infrastructure and a myriad of policies to mitigate risk, but there are many things we can do,” he said.

Despite spending Tens of millions of dollars each year Through fog efforts throughout the island, public awareness campaigns, and innovative experiments with special things, we are trying to control mosquito populations. Laboratory-reared mosquitoesSingapore government agencies continue to report dengue infections and an increase in mosquito populations.

“Singapore is currently facing a serious dengue situation,” the National Environment Agency told CNN that “recent warm, rainy and humid weather” is a major factor in the surge. rice field.

Cases of dengue continue to grow exponentially and will remain high for the next few months, officials added.

Government agencies have made great efforts to eliminate large areas of the cluster and control mosquito populations, but many areas still show “massive mosquito breeding”. “Rapid detection and removal of mosquito breeding habitats is critical to reducing the number of mosquito carriers,” the agency said. “We recommend that all residents be vigilant and thoroughly check their homes for stagnant water at least once a week.”

As climate change worsens and the planet heats up, mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, Chikungunya, and dengue continue to spread, potentially having a greater impact on human health and welfare than ever before.

Experts say the key issue now is the impact of mosquito-borne diseases on human health and behavior by politicians and policy makers who need to delay climate change and make changes to prepare for its consequences. Whether to understand.

“Changes in environmental conditions are increasing mosquito breeding rates, so it will be even more difficult to completely eliminate the risk of dengue fever unless climate emergencies improve,” said Chow, a climate scientist. Told.

“And it will be a painful battle for Singapore in the long run.”




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