Drones to Survey Dengue Hotspots

Importance of dengue control in Singapore:

  • The incidence of dengue has been increasing globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 2.2 million cases in 2010, with this number increasing to 3.2 million in 2015. Being an international transport hub, Singapore remains vulnerable to dengue.
  • Singapore is in a dengue-endemic region and there are 4 different Dengue virus serotypes circulating concurrently. A change in the predominant serotype has been found to be correlated with dengue outbreaks in Singapore.
  • Our region’s constant warm climate and high humidity support the breeding of the Aedes mosquito vector. The warmer climate also contributes to the faster maturation cycle of the Aedes mosquito vector and faster replication of the Dengue virus.
  • Singapore's high human population density also aids the spread of dengue. The Aedes mosquito has adapted particularly well to our urban environment, and likes to breed, mate and feed near human dwellings.

 

Efforts to tackle dengue:

  • Conducting checks for mosquito breeding habitats based on dengue cases.
  • Pre-emptive checks in areas assessed to be at higher risk, even in the absence of dengue cases.
  • Working closely with members of the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force (IADTF), to ensure that mosquito control programmes are carried out and sustained in respective areas.
  • Intensive search-and-destroy operations, both indoors and outdoors, to remove mosquito breeding, and applying of larvicides.
  • Rallying the community to help sustain efforts for dengue prevention and control. The Dengue Community Alert system helps to keep the community up-to-date with the latest dengue situation, via alert banners at strategic locations.

 

Why the use of drones?

  • Roof gutters are potential mosquito breeding habitats due mainly to a lack of maintenance. These are often located at a considerable height, making them difficult to be checked safely using traditional means.
  • To overcome the limitations faced by officers in inspecting roof gutters, NEA has been deploying drones for the surveillance of roof gutters at selected areas to detect the presence of stagnant water that may lead to mosquito breeding.
  • The drone is also equipped to dispense Bti larvicide and eradicate mosquito breeding habitat.

 

 

 

Last updated on 01 May 2019