A day after Singapore confirmed its first Zika cluster, those living along Hemsley Avenue in Serangoon Gardens are doing what they can to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, reported Channel News Asia. Notably, the region has seen a spike in mosquito-borne diseases like Zika in the last few days. All three cases of Zika that were announced on Friday involved residents at Hemsley Avenue. Both Zika and dengue are spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito.
Speaking to Channel News Asia, a resident Sabrina Lim said that she is staying indoors and keeping her fingers crossed. The 48-year-old housewife has also asked her three children, who occasionally visit the nearby park, to stay back at home. The Zika virus has been associated with neurological diseases like microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with a smaller head due to abnormalities in the development of the brain.
Notably, the report revealed that Hemsley Avenue is close to an existing eight-case dengue cluster at Bridport Avenue/Cowdray Avenue/Huddington Avenue/Portchester Avenue/Tavistock Avenue, which was notified on August 20.
Another resident, Genevieve Chabot told CNA that she has asked a private insect control company to come twice a month as a precautionary measure instead of once a month.Her neighbour, Bryan Lincoln, added that even though he makes sure his many plants and three fountains do not contain stagnant water, he is still worried with the spike in Zika cases in the region.
The 78-year-old retired individual showed worry by saying that one may clan their place, "but aedes mosquitoes can come from the nearby park, from the next road." He further expressed concern about a small puddle of stagnant water in the neighbouring home that is being renovated.
Lincoln further added that officers from the National Environment Agency (NEA) visited his home on Saturday, and said the matter comes under the officers in charge of construction sites.
Residents of the area have purchased mosquito repellents to protect themselves from mosquitoes and have taken to wearing long pants when they step out, CNA further reported. They have even put up banners urging residents to get rid of stagnant water to fight dengue and Zika.
Notably, National Environment Agency (NEA) has started operations in the area to kill mosquito breeding habitats since the dengue cluster was notified in August and as of Friday, five breeding habitats in the dengue cluster have already been destroyed.
Notices have been put up saying fogging will commence on Sunday while residents have also noticed men opening manhole covers to treat drainwater.
CNA cited Local Member of Parliament (MP) Sylvia Lim who has urged residents to cooperate fully with the agency. The MP said citizens need to be vigilant themselves to ensure that there is no inadvertent breeding of mosquitoes in their own homes.