By Terry Xu
A new app site, outbreak.sgcharts.com has been created by a concerned member of public to present the dengue situation in Singapore with data published by the National Environment Agency.
The website has a user-friendly map to show the physical location of dengue cases. It also has an interactive timeline slider for users to access information on past dengue clusters.
What compelled the creator of this site to use technology to map dengue cases in Singapore?
Developer Mr Xie Rufeng writes software during in his free time. He created the online map of dengue clusters so that he could better visualise how dengue clusters have formed or re-emerged across time.
He hopes to raise public awareness of the dengue epidemic through the creation of the site, so that citizens can do their part to protect their loved ones.
Has he shared this website with the National Environment Agency?
“No, I have not shared this with NEA,” said Mr Xie. “NEA does offer a map of active dengue clusters on their website. But I’m a big fan of Google Maps, which is highly customisable, so I decided to roll up my sleeves and do my own map.”
“NEA also does not provide historical data, so I thought it will be interesting to provide an interactive timeline where users can view past dengue clusters. This information will help us to understand where dengue has re-emerged, or how long does it take for dengue clusters to reach a certain size.”
The site, which seems to be fuelled by nothing more than one man’s passion for clarity, was surprisingly updated, and the use of maps provided a much-needed level of clarity that you would not find by reading ad-hoc news reports.
For example, Mr Xie’s data showed that Choa Chu Kang is badly hit with almost a dengue case in every block.
Usign the timeline slider, it can also be seen that dengue cases re-emerging at Flora Drive in Tampines, after authorities have declared it is no longer a ‘high-risk’ hotspot just 2 weeks ago.
A trend chart within the app site also shows the total number of dengue cases now approaching the 12,000 mark with 2 cases resulting in death this year. Last year, there were a total of 22,000 cases and 7 died.