In Singapore, dengue fever infections are on the rise, with the number of new cases in the first five months of this year exceeding that of the full year of 2021. More than 8,500 cases of dengue fever were documented from January to the middle of May.
The dengue season, which runs from June to October, is just getting started. The country’s National Environment Agency has warned that a major outbreak could break out this year. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause hospital overcrowding.
A fever, headache, vomiting, muscular discomfort, joint pain, and a skin rash are all symptoms of infection. Experts say that abdominal pain, quick breathing, an enlarged liver, blood in the stool, or vomiting are all signs of a more serious disease. Numerous variables, including an increase in the less frequent serotype DenV-3, which means that most people are immune, are thought to be driving the rise in Singapore, according to doctors.
Singapore is a popular tourist destination for residents of the United Arab Emirates. Travel between the UAE and Singapore has resumed following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Dr. Brijesh Bhardwaj, an internal medicine expert and director of the department at NMC Royal Hospital, DIP, Dubai, said, “Dengue fever is unusual in the UAE, and it is brought in by tourists from endemic regions throughout the world.”
There are four different serotypes of the virus. Infection with one of the four confers immunity to all four for around a year, as well as permanent protection from that particular strain. However, getting another serotype later can result in more severe symptoms due to a mechanism known as an antibody-dependent enhancement. This happens when antibodies from a previous dengue infection attach to a different dengue serotype’s infectious particle but are unable to neutralize it, allowing it to infect a kind of white blood cell more efficiently.
Mosquitoes of the Aedes species — Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus — are the virus’s vectors. When a mosquito picks up dengue from an infected person, it incubates the virus for a few days until it reproduces enough to form a reservoir before attacking more people. Dengue fever affects around 4 billion people worldwide, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 400 million people are affected each year. Approximately 40,000 people die.
Researchers in Indonesia discovered last year that infecting an army of mosquitos with a virus-inhibiting microbe drastically reduces the rate of dengue sickness. The study found a 77 percent drop in infection and an 86 percent reduction in hospital cases in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The researchers were interested in seeing if mosquitos treated with the bacteria Wolbachia had a tougher time transmitting viruses to humans, resulting in fewer cases.
The bacterium is prevalent in 60% of insect species and coexists with viruses like dengue disease in the same areas of the mosquito’s body. Because dengue fever can’t replicate as quickly as it used to, mosquitos are less likely to spread it.
Author: Muhammad Asim