Fewer cases of severe dengue fever in Singapore
The Straits Times
By Melissa Pang
SINGAPORE - Although more dengue cases are being diagnosed, the good news is that only a small number of people have come down with a more severe form of the disease.
As of Monday, 9,429 people had fallen victim to the dengue virus. But only 38, or 0.4 per cent, of them developed the more serious dengue haemorrhagic fever.
This is a marked decline from the 2005 dengue outbreak, which recorded almost 14,000 infections, 2.8 per cent of which were dengue haemorrhagic fever cases.
The drop in the number of more serious cases is due to improvements in patient care and greater awareness about the disease among patients, the dengue advisory committee chairman, Professor Ng Han Seong, said at a press conference yesterday.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan suggested that it could also be due to more dengue cases being diagnosed, or that perhaps the virus had become less virulent.
Minister of State for Health Amy Khor added that less than 30 per cent of dengue patients require hospitalisation, and the majority can be treated in an outpatient setting. But contingency plans are in place should the need for beds arise.
Dr Khor also told reporters that hospitals have been alerted to be careful with suspected or confirmed dengue cases returning to the emergency departments. Such patients will be given higher priority, she said.