11/24/2013

Dengue outbreak once in 50 years


The outbreak of this disease and turning deadlier is giving cause for concern to the govt. It has never happened before, 20,000 cases before the year is over and claiming another life, its seventh victim. What is unacceptable is that it is happening right in the heart of Orchard, right in the middle of pre Christmas sales, and so near to the Istana.

Singapore is a small island famous for it efficiency in social policies and wiping out mosquitoes must be a piece of cake. It can’t be more difficult than wiping out the people’s CPF savings for housing and various schemes and minimum sums right? If Singapore cannot prevent this disease from spreading, a bit impossible for it to be wiped out, then no country can do better. Just pray and hope that this is only a once in 50 year incident and will be blown over by Christmas when the tourists failed to turn up and no blood to suck.

The mosquito experts are all busily trying out new solutions to stamp the spread of this disease in a highly dense environment that makes intercourse so convenient.  A company called ‘Oxitec is tinkering with the genetics of mosquito species to produce sterile male mosquitos that would…only mate with the females carrying the disease, leaving the 3,500 other mosquito species across the world untouched.’ The best part is that the males will only seek the females of the dengue carrying Aedes mosquitoes. How could they trained or spiked the drinks of these male mosquitoes to go for Aedes females only is truly ingenious. I thought it would be easier to ensure that the Aedes females are dressed to kill with the most expensive cosmetics to attract the sterile males. Alternatively might as well turn all the male mosquitoes into eunuchs, no desires. That would clean them up in one generation.

There was a stupid and innovative idea floated during the last outbreak that sounded damn silly but I agree could be workable, very effective and inexpensive. The idea is simply to provide maternity hospitals or water receptacles for the Aedes to lay their eggs. There is no need to go hunting for them. Just have these water containers in convenient locations to make it easy and conducive for the Aedes mothers to be to do the necessary. The clearing and cleaning job can be done once a week or a fortnight, knowing the incubation and free swimming lifespan of the larva and pupa. No need rocket science and expensive drugs and technology. And no hussle at all. Only common sense, labour and plastic containers would be enough to do the job.

At times simple and silly sounding solutions work best. And no need to pay the experts silly for their expertise and expert salaries. And we have all the cheap foreign workers to do the job with some responsible locals as supervisors. It is elementary, Watson!

Why, too cheap and cannot charge big bills so not a financially rewarding proposition? Cheap is no good. Must pay more then can be good. Better still if the ideas came from FTs. Perhaps if they appoint a foreigner to head the Ministry of Environment, all the mosquito problems will go away.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

RB, haha this is a good one, make my day. I like your comment on the cpf

Anonymous said...

If this PAP gahmen cannot defeat a simple mosquito;
What makes you think they can protect Singaporeans from any other threats?
Personally, I think we are wasting our time and money on this useless bunch.

Anonymous said...

There will be more waves of sickness as the ft's are let in.

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matilah_Singapura said...

@927:

>> If this PAP gahmen cannot defeat a simple mosquito;

It is pure human arrogance to think that we are the top of the biological table as a species. It is a mistake think that just because we have the means to figure out nature automatically leads to our total conquest of nature. The part of nature we can control is a small -- very small -- area of the totality of nature.

Bacteria, viruses, microbes, and small creepy-crawlies collectively are the DOMINANT SPECIES in the earth's biosphere -- and perhaps even deep within the earth's interior. They were here before us, and will continue to populate the earth long after our species is EXTINCT.

These tiny predators feed on us, or parts of us; make us sick with their toxins and many species eventually kill us. So no, humans are not "top" of the "food chain".

There is no way to guarantee with 100% probability that anyone -- govt, individual or private organisation -- can prevent the outbreak of ANY disease. Sure you can do your best by taking all possible precautions to minimize risk, but statistically speaking (in reality the occurrence of any event is statistical) total prevention is IMPOSSIBLE.

Think of the outbreak as a "black swan" event. One of the greatest delusions is the human tendency to be CERTAIN. Black Swan events occur to entirely bust the myth of certainty -- but ever the clever humans: they'll rationalise after the fact and immediately "imagine" a cause or assign blame.

But how Black Swan is a Black Swan, in this case? Dengue cases are nothing new to Singapore -- they occur quite regularly. The dengue virus is always present in Singapore and the region, as are the vectors of transmission -- mosquitoes.

Therefore the chances of a large dengue outbreak is definitely a plausible scenario.

Anonymous said...

They are designed mosquito drones to do the job of screwing the female Aedes mosquitoes. Each drone can fetch at least a few thousands and there are so many mosquitoes all over the island, can be a good business. Can export to other mosquito infested countries too.

Just make sure the drones don't screw every insect in their path.

b said...

Import more lemon and lavender. They are naturals, appealing and mosquitoes repelling.