Brunei reports 43 dengue cases, one death

Izah Azahari

One death and 43 cases associated with dengue have been reported as of yesterday. The number of cases shows a slight decrease compared to 2019 where 69 cases were reported during the same period, the Ministry of Health (MoH) stated in a release.

Dengue is a female Aedes mosquito-borne disease caused by a dengue virus infection. Dengue fever symptoms will begin three to 14 days after the mosquito bite and lasts for two to seven days.

The symptoms include sudden and persistent fever, muscle ache and the lack of energy. The infection with the dengue virus can also sometimes cause more severe symptoms including bleeding and death, known as Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF).

Four types of serotype dengue virus have been identified (DEN1, 2, 3 and 4). A person infected with one of the serotypes of the dengue virus and subsequently infected by another serotype increases their risk of getting DHF.

Aedes mosquitos can be found in most places in Brunei Darussalam. It can easily breed in water reservoirs either indoors or outdoors such as flower pots, clogged drains, plastic bottles and tyres used as landscape compositions; in places where water reservoirs are not tightly closed such as water tanks, buckets, vases (tajau) and the like; as well as garbage that can hold water such as empty cans, abandoned tyres and food containers.

Dengue has no specific treatment. Treatment is more focussed on supportive treatment to relieve symptoms of infection as well as close monitoring in hospital, if needed.

For each case of mosquito-borne disease reported, the MoH implements measures such as contact tracing to examine people closest to the case to ensure that no one else has symptoms of dengue fever, tests are performed on any close contacts found to have symptoms; entomological surveillance to examine the entomology in the vicinity of the residence and areas frequently visited by cases to determine the type of vector that may be in the area; and vector control activities through the use of pesticides to destroy adult mosquitoes and larvae.

Insect monitoring and control is also done routinely, especially in areas that have been identified as hotspot breeding grounds and case clusters.

The statement said pesticide spraying is only a temporary alternative, and for more effective long-term control, maintaining a clean environment and a place free of becoming a potential breeding hotspot is more crucial.

All have a role and responsibility in taking measures to control and prevent mosquito-borne infections, the MoH stated advising the public to inspect and maintain a clean environment of their surroundings to ensure that no place or container can hold water and become a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes; wash containers thoroughly to destroy the remnants of mosquito eggs as they can survive in a dry place for six months, and as soon as the eggs are exposed to water, they can hatch within seven days; eliminate Aedes mosquito breeding grounds by disposing of water reservoirs and dispose of garbage regularly, especially those that can retain water; always maintain and ensure the cleanliness of the environment; and immediately seek treatment at health centres or clinics if experiencing dengue fever symptoms.

The MoH also informed that the dengue fever situation is under control.

Several neighbouring countries are reported to be experiencing an increase in the number of dengue cases.

The release said the MoH will continue to monitor the situation and inform the public of any developments if necessary.