Why are there no mosquitoes in Singapore

Malaria, dengue, chinkungunya in Singapore - tips for prophylaxis

Malaria prophylaxis is generally not really an issue in Singapore, as the risk of infection is extremely low. Only those who travel from Singapore to the rural regions of the neighboring countries Indonesia or Malaysia really have to deal with the issue of malaria prophylaxis. The situation is different with dengue and chinkungunya fever: These two types of infection are far less known to travelers, but there is actually an (albeit low) risk of infection in Singapore.

Warning: mosquitoes are not the only ones to transmit malaria

All three infections have in common that they are transmitted by mosquitoes, so that appropriate protective measures should be taken when staying outdoors in Singapore for a longer period of time: On the one hand, this includes an anti-mosquito spray that is applied to the skin and, on the other hand, especially when hiking in nature - body-covering clothing: long trousers or skirts, closed shoes with stockings, long-sleeved shirts or blouses and possibly a light cloth that covers the free neck area.

Malaria prophylaxis in Singapore

Malaria is transmitted by the female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles, which pass on the pathogen Plasmodium falciparum to humans. This triggers the malaria tropica, the most severe form of malaria, which leads to severe fever attacks. While no malaria prophylaxis is necessary for Singapore itself, travelers in rural areas in Malaysia should possibly take stand-by supplements (malarone or doxycycline) with them, which are taken in the event of a feared infection. In Indonesia, a combination of proguanil and chloroquine is recommended (except on the holiday island of Bali, which is considered malaria-free).

For more information on malaria in Singapore, click here.

Dengue and Chikungunya

Dengue and chikungunya are both transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito (Stegomyia albopicta) and have both spread significantly in recent years. While the malaria-transmitting Anopheles mosquito is only out and about at night and therefore only needs to be protected against mosquitoes in the evenings and at night (clothing that covers the body, closed windows, etc.), the Asian tiger mosquito is active during the day - when most people are only lightly clothed and a lot are outdoors. There is no real protection against both infections, i.e. neither a vaccine nor prophylaxis as with malaria.

Dengue fever is also known as "bone breaker disease" because it is often associated with very severe muscle and limb pain. Most of the time the disease is mild, but up to 4% of cases can lead to “Dengue Shock Syndrome” (DSS) or a hemorrhagic fever.

Chikungunya fever has also spread rapidly in recent years and is similar to dengue fever with muscle and limb pain and a high fever. In very rare cases, complications such as hepatitis or meningitis can occur. It is often difficult for doctors to differentiate between dengue and chikungunya because the symptoms are very similar.

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