Dengue cases were down in Singapore last year but chikungunya infections were up. Last month more chikungunya cases were reported. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Health which included chikungunya fever in its weekly infectious disease bulletin.
It is feared that chikungunya will soon become endemic in Singapore:
“The appearance of locally transmitted chikungunya infections in Singapore this year also worries infectious diseases experts.
“Although no one has died of the infection, chikungunya, unlike dengue, can be very debilitating. There is also the risk that it could become endemic, which means the disease would be here to stay, with no chance of wiping it out.”
The Gigamole Diaries is not bothered if chikungunya will become endemic in the country:
“Given the similarity in vectors and transmissability between dengue and chikungunya, I don't think there is any doubt chikungunya will establish itself firmly within the community, as it has in many other parts of Asia, and it will only be a matter of time before it will be declared to be endemic in Singapore.
“Does it bother me? Not really, because it is a relatively mild disease compared dengue. If we can control the mosquito population in Singapore, we should be able to control both fairly well.”
Singapore Expat was admitted to a hospital because of chikungunya fever:
“With a great deal of hobbling, we got to the local A&E where I was admitted immediately with a suspected mosquito transmitted viral disease; either Dengue or Chikungunya. Not that either one is really better than the other, but I am still glad it was Chikungunya as at least I am now immune of one of them. The fever went lasted only 3-4 days, but the swollen joints and rash remained for a few days more, and I may be hobbling around for a week or two more until the joints go back to normal.”
“In recent years, countries in the South-East Asia Region have been severely affected by the outbreaks of chikungunya fever…Chikungunya has established endemicity in several parts of South-East Asia Region. The socio-economic factors and public health inadequacies that facilitated the spread of this infection continue to exist. There is an urgent need to strengthen national surveillance and response capacity through multisectoral approach and active participation of the communities to prevent and contain this emerging infectious disease.”
Picture on front page taken from the Flickr page of James Jordan