Health and safety of the tenants is of high importance. Apart from managing the property and providing smooth supply of resources, the facilities and property management also has to ensure protection against viruses and bacteria. Recently, there has been an update pointing towards a possible outbreak of dengue virus in Singapore. As one of the roles of facilities managers, this is a crucial issue that needs to be addressed.
Not too long ago, NEA (National Environmental Agency) Singapore urged public and stakeholders to play their role in controlling Dengue virus in the region. Media releases have confirmed that there has been an increase in the population of Aedes mosquitos and it will continue to rise in warmer weather.
According to the environmental agency, warmer weather is ideal for faster breeding of mosquitos, as well as maturation cycle. It also shortens incubation period for the virus. It also added that DENV-2 serotype has been the cause of more than half of the dengue cases reported in the previous year which is a big change. Earlier, since 2013, DENV-1 serotype was the cause of most dengue cases.
NEA further commented that this change is an early indication of the potential of the virus to spread in Singapore, unless strict measures are being adopted to reduce the population of Aedes mosquitos.
According to city-state reports and NEA:
- 2013 was the year with record-breaking 22,000 dengue cases and 7 deaths.
- During 2014, 18,342 cases were reported and there were 5 deaths as well.
- In 2015 however, situation was kept under control through strict controlling measures. Until June 2015, there were 4,292 cases which were 45% less than previous year.
With this being reported, experts are concerned about the steep increase in the population of Aedes mosquitos which has doubled since 2014. NEA urged all stake holders to make sure their premises remain free from stagnant water as it has been the major factor in the growth of Aedes mosquitos and dengue cases.
Measures to prevent dengue fever:
1. Know where the breeding takes place
You cannot easily identify the actual breeding spots. So, it is better to spray insecticides and mosquito-killers on the following places:
- Flower trays and pots with water
- Ornamental containers
- Toiler bowl and Cistren
2. Five steps mosquito wipe out
Due to the anticipation of rise in dengue cases, NEA advices public to take necessary preventive measures to reduce threats of dengue in the regions. Preventive measures include:
- The water in bowls and vases must be changed every alternate day.
- The water in the flower pot plates must be removed and refilled on alternate days.
- All water storage containers must be turned over.
- If you have bamboo pole holders, cover them when they’re not in use.
- Make sure there should be no blockages. Roof gutters must be fumigated with BTI insecticides on monthly basis
3. Apply Repellent
Furthermore, if it has been confirmed that anyone suffers from dengue fever, use mosquito repellent to keep away from mosquito bites. Dengue fever can be transmitted from infected person to a normal person via ordinary mosquito. For public places and workplaces, use mosquito repellents for extra protection.