Dengue/Zika advisory for ICCS Organisers, 02 Sep 2016

Dear Organisers,

here is an advisory about dengue and zika:

The urban mosquito Aedes aegypti is responsible for dengue and zika in Singapore. There have been more than 11,000 cases of dengue with seven deaths so far this year and we expect to see the number of cases increase. The detection of the zika virus, though less widespread, is harder to detect from symptoms and is currently appears to be on the increase.

Singaporeans can continue with their daily activity but must take precautions:

  • Be informed about dengue (NEA Guidelines) and Zika (MOH page) share the information
  • Do the 10-minute 5-step Mozzie Wipeout at home and at the workplace (NEA webpage)
  • Avoid dengue clusters where possible (check the NEA map and list) as well as zika affected areas and areas of concern (check recent news releases)
  • Prevent mosquito bites through:
    • i) protective dressing which covers exposed skin,
    • ii) the correct application of insect repellents with DEET (NEA webpage)
    • and iii) the use of mosquito nets while sleeping.

Organisers participating in the International Coastal Cleanup in Singapore have cleanup dates over three weekends in September. Our cleanup sites do not overlap dengue hotspots, are not in affected areas of the Zika outbreak so far, and do not take place at the typical feeding time of A. aegypti, i.e. at dusk and dawn. Still, we are monitoring the situation closely and will alert you if there is cause for concern.

Our advise to Organisers is the following:

  1. Prevent – advise your participants to take preventive action through protective dressing and appropriate application of insect repellent once you leave the house. Check the DEET concentration and reapply the repellent as needed, especially if you perspire profusely.
  2. Support – Have an additional supply of insect repellent available for volunteers in case they do not have their own supply.
  3. Aware – Monitor news release of dengue hotspots and new cases of Zika though the NEA newsroom and local news agencies (e.g. Straits Times Zika microsite).
  4. Decide – If your cleanup site is in an affected area, call off your cleanup immediately; do not hesitate, and inform your zone captain.

Monitoring
Zone Captains will alert you if any critical information is released. Thus far, we have cancelled one cleanup site at Kranji East (03 Sep 2016) which was near an area of concern for Zika, and we are monitoring the status at another site at Kranji Bund (17 Sep 2016).

Priority: Safety!
Safety is a priority for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and participation in the coastal cleanup is entirely voluntary. We encourage all participants and Organisers to withdraw at any point that they feel uncomfortable with proceeding with a cleanup. It is better to err on the side of caution.

Have safe cleanup everyone!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi

N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
c/o Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
& Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

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