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Singapore Finds Worst Dengue Site

March 14, 1998

SINGAPORE (AP) _ Amid a record surge of the potentially fatal dengue fever, the Environment Ministry has announced a hospital construction site and its surroundings as the worst infected area in Singapore.

In the last two weeks, 15 staff from Tan Tock Seng Hospital have been infected with the tropical disease, along with 10 construction workers and three residents of the neighborhood, The Straits Times reported Saturday.

The virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is active during daytime and breeds in stagnant water. There is no vaccine for dengue, which causes high fever, joint pains, rashes, chills and in serious cases, hemorrhages.

Singapore’s Environment Ministry has intensified their battle with the disease in the area, the report said.

This includes more inspections of possible breeding sites, greater use of insecticides, increased health education and stricter enforcement of the country’s regulations against standing water, which include fines for those who allow mosquito breeding on their property.

Dengue fever has infected a record number of Singaporeans so far in 1998, with the total climbing to about 1,300 since the start of the year, more than twice as many as the same period in 1997.

The high numbers indicate that 1998 will be worse than last year, which hit a record with 4,300 cases for the entire 12 months. One person died.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which is building new facilities in their current grounds, said they have intensified efforts to combat mosquito breeding on the site and have instructed their staff to check for breeding sites.

About 50 million equatorial residents contract dengue fever every year.

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