Have you heard? Singapore is in the midst of a dengue epidemic. It is because it's the hot season and the aedes mosquitoes which carry the dengue virus thrive in such weather. I have almost forgotten how hot Singapore is as it has been raining a lot for the past year.
On June 8, the total number of infections for 2013 stand at 9,303. The worst dengue outbreak was in 2005 when 14,000 people were infected and 25 people died. This year alone, 2 persons have died from dengue fever. Looks like this year, the total number of infection will likely surpass 14,000 as the hot season is just beginning.
Despite the many, many efforts by the government agencies and volunteers and residents, the number of cases keep increasing. I wonder if we are all doing it wrong. Otherwise it doesn't make sense.
In the past I never really worried about being bitten by the aedes mosquitoes because the infections were not where I live. This year, the mosquitoes seemed to have been able to fly all the way to my town in the north-west. My area is a red cluster. It means we have the aedes mosquitoes in our area. Mayday! Mayday! This means I could be bitten any day. Any day!
I know it may sound silly to be afraid of mosquitoes but dengue fever is no joke. The symptoms are extremely painful - high fever, joint and muscle pain, pain in the eye, nausea, vomiting, body rash and bleeding. There is no cure but the symptoms can be treated and managed. In other words, you just got to ride it out, if it doesn't kill you.
I read in the papers that the government is giving every household a mosquito repellent. I don't know what kind of special repellent it is but I have armed my home with in my opinion, a state of the art mosquito repellent.
Meet my Pest-stop. It gives out a sound which mosquitoes, as well as other insects find uncomfortable. The sound does not kill them but causes them to have a nervous breakdown and this will hopefully keep them away from my flat. It did not work right away. But after a few days, I noticed that we no longer get mosquitoes. Before I bought the Pest-stop, we did get a few mosquitoes but not the aedes kind. Yes, every time I kill a mosquito, I examine the legs for white spots as that's how you know it's an aedes. The Pest-stop don't seem to work on sandflies which only attack my shins. No one else in my family gets them.
When I was at the shop looking for suitable repellents, I wanted to buy a device that kills the mosquitoes. It uses heat to simulate the human body and once the mosquitoes are close to the device, the fan traps them and they are somehow killed. The assistant at the shop advised me against buying the device for my home as I would be calling all the mosquitoes to my home. I took his advice.
I also have 2 cans of these essential oils which are supposed to repel mosquitoes. I place them below our computer tables.
This is a repellent band which you can wear around your wrist or your ankle. They give off a pretty strong smell. My girl's school is in the middle of the red cluster and I'm worried that when school reopens she will get bitten. My plan is to get her to wear the band around her ankle. I mean why take the risk and get bitten? I expect a huge resistant from her.
I really hope my family survive this epidemic.
And on top of everything else, the haze came for a visit. How much hotter can it get?