While the current health crisis and the upcoming recession seem to be of utmost concern, there is another flu-like illness we should be aware of. Since the beginning of 2020, more than 4,000 dengue cases have been reported. This figure is about twice as many within the same period a year ago and it is alarming. 

Despite having lifelong immunity against a specific serotype if recovered, chances are we would still be susceptible to other serotypes.

Unlike what has been reported in the past, these recent cases are not just any other dengue fever. This dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) is not exactly a novel strain but there has not been a single DENV-3 case in Singapore for almost three decades. In other words, we are less immune to this virus which makes us even more vulnerable from getting infected. 

Although the government is making efforts to curb this, as citizens of Singapore, we should also do our part and teach our children about cleanliness and good hygiene akin. Simple measures to prevent mosquitoes from creating a breeding ground around the house should be imparted to our children. This would be a good head start.     

Severe dengue fever can lead to many unfavourable complications, usually life-threatening ones. Despite having lifelong immunity against a specific serotype if recovered, chances are we would still be susceptible to other serotypes. Unfortunately, the subsequent infection by other serotypes is likely to increase the risk of developing severe dengue. 

Earlier in March, two Covid-19 patients in Singapore who were tested positive for dengue later found that it was coronavirus instead. These 2 viral diseases share very similar symptoms and can be often mistaken. Dengue normally shows symptoms like fever and a rash. Be sure to look out for the minor differences in order to receive early treatments.

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