Communicable Diseases Surveillance in Singapore 2017

05 Jun 2022

Communicable Diseases Surveillance in Singapore 2017


Communicable diseases refer to a host of illnesses caused by microbial agents that can be spread directly or indirectly from one person to another. For effective prevention and control of communicable diseases in a dense populated city state like Singapore, surveillance is key. I am pleased to present the Ministry of Health’s report entitled, “Communicable Diseases Surveillance, Singapore 2017”

The information gathered in this report has been made possible through Singapore’s comprehensive and well established system of surveillance, epidemiology and response that is resident in the Ministry of Health. This publication aims to serve as an easy reference on communicable diseases for use by the medical and public health community. Our readership includes physicians, epidemiologists, microbiologists, laboratorians, journalists, academics, scientists and public health administrators.

With many public health concerns making headline news in 2017, we have been working hard to safeguard health and wellbeing in our community.  Besides providing an overview of the communicable diseases situation in Singapore, this report gives comprehensive coverage of specific notifiable diseases of public health importance that are air/droplet-borne, vector-borne, food-borne, blood-borne and borne by other routes.  There is also a section on evaluation of childhood immunisation.

Vigilance in monitoring diseases is crucial for public health. Throughout the year, we carried out epidemiological surveillance to monitor the disease situation, pick up early outbreaks, and formulate and evaluate control strategies. Surveillance has also helped to identify secular disease trends, understand their epidemiology and guide public health policy.  We also published the reporting guidelines on infectious diseases clusters for long term care institutions which aims to guide service providers in reporting infectious diseases clusters to the Ministry.

In August 2017, we investigated a fatal autochthonous diphtheria case in a migrant worker. This incident highlighted the risks for individual cases in under-vaccinated risk groups despite high vaccination coverage in the general population. Prompt implementation of public health measures and maintaining immunisation coverage are critical to prevent re-emergence of diphtheria.

The Ministry of Health would like to thank all healthcare professionals and our partner agencies for their support and dedication in combating and minimising the threats of communicable diseases, for the common goal of safeguarding public health. 

We look forward to your continued support and cooperation.

Dr Derrick Heng

Group Director (Public Health Group)
Ministry of Health, Singapore


In order to access the information, please download Acrobat Reader software.


Foreword [PDF, 11MB]

1. Overview [PDF, 9MB]

  • Population Profile
  • Communicable Diseases Situation 

2. Air/Droplet-borne Diseases [PDF, 10MB]

  • Diphtheria 
  • Haemophilus Influenza Type B Disease
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
  • Influenza
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal Infection
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis
  • Pneumococcal Disease
  • Rubella
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Chickenpox

3. Vector-borne 2017[PDF, 12MB]

  • Chikungunya Fever
  • Dengue Fever/Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Malaria
  • Murine Typhus
  • Zika Virus Infection

4. Food-/Water-Borne Diseases [PDF, 9MB]

  • Acute Diarrhoeal Illnesses
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Cholera
  • Enteric Fevers
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis E
  • Salmonellosis
  • Food Poisoning

5. Blood-Borne and Sexually Transmitted Diseases [PDF, 9MB]

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

6. Other Diseases [PDF, 9MB]

  • Legionellosis
  • Leprosy
  • Melioidosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Healthcare-Associated Outbreaks
  • Severe Illness and Death from Possibly Infectious Causes

7. Childhood Immunisation [PDF, 9MB]

  • History of the Immunisation Programme
  • Implementation of the Immunisation Programme
  • Effectiveness of the Immunisation Programme
  • Public Education

Acknowledgement [PDF, 11MB]

The Ministry of Health would like to thank all medical practitioners, laboratory personnel, nurses, public health professionals, as well as partners from public and private healthcare institutions and other government agencies, who have, in one way or another, contributed to the data and information reported in the publication We are grateful for their valuable contributions towards our national efforts in communicable diseases surveillance, prevention and control and look forward to their continued support and cooperation in our work.

In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions to communicable diseases surveillance in the Ministry of Health from the Strategy & Prevention Branch, National Public Health Laboratory, and National Public Health Unit, as well as in our sister agencies from the National Environment Agency, Department of STI Control, National University Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National Skin Centre, STEP Registry, TB Control Unit and the Health Promotion Board (National Immunisation Registry and School Health Service).

We also thank our Communicable Diseases Division colleagues who have contributed their subject matter expertise to the various chapters of this annual report and through their untiring professional efforts, helped to maintain Singapore’s high standards of epidemiological surveillance, investigation and risk assessment. They are Zubaidah Said, Constance Low, Pream Raj, Chan Guanhao, Charlene Tow, Tien Wee Siong, Lin Yijun, Georgina Lim, Minn Thu, Imran Muhammad, Peh Xinyi, Jessey Markose, Anne Lee, Rachael Pung, Cherie See, Chen Hongjun, Joanna Tan, Wong Jia Ying and Han Hwi Kwang

(You can also download the Full Version of the Report here. [PDF, 16MB]

Full version 2017 [PDF, 16MB]


© 2018 by Communicable Diseases Division, Ministry of Health, Singapore.
All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced without proper citation. 

Front cover: King Edward VII Hall, Ministry of Health. Kelly Foo. 2018.
ISSN 0217-7854

Editorial Committee 2017 

Steven Ooi

Chan Pei Pei
Foong Bok Huay
Kelly Foo
Khine Nandar
Nigel Chong
See Wanhan
Zul Azri As Saad Saat

Derrick Heng
Jeffery Cutter
Vernon Lee

Special thanks to
Rachel Lim
Elliot Eu 
Teo Ken Wah