Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Friday, June 14, 2013

Singapore faces worst dengue fever outbreak in its history (updated)

On our last trip to Singapore, my wife insisted that the mosquitoes there were not a concern. This is no longer the case. Singapore is in the throes of its worst outbreak of dengue fever ever. No explanation has been offered for the size of the outbreak, although there have been comments that the virus has a greater resistance to treatment than normal.

I'm not convinced--in my experience with tropical disease outbreaks in Africa and other places, it is almost always caused by higher than normal rainfall. In Singapore it may be compounded by the large number of construction projects underway.

Dengue is caused by a virus which is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine, so you avoid dengue by avoiding mosquito bites.

Last year Singapore experienced a little over 4,500 cases of dengue fever (which seems like an awful lot to me). That would be less than one case per thousand population. This year, the number is already over 10,000, with over 800 new cases this week alone. They have not yet reached the time of year where the number of cases normally peaks. There have been two deaths.

Dengue cases this year. From here.

It's hard to make sense of the distribution of cases. The Paisir Ris cluster is an area of apartment blocks, but there is a lot of green space between the buildings and a fairly large series of connected parks.

Downtown shots, not Pasir Ris. Couldn't find any good shots of Pasir Ris except inside the apartment.

Updated June 26

Numbers still growing, with the peak still likely a few weeks away. Graphics source.

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