Health Department: Measles cases spike by 340pc

Health Department director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the increase in cases was because the children were not immunised against the disease. — Reuters pic
Health Department director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the increase in cases was because the children were not immunised against the disease. — Reuters pic

PUTRAJAYA, June 26 — As of first week of June, the number of measles cases reported throughout the country increased by 340 per cent to 873, compared to 197 during the corresponding period last year.

Health Department director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the increase in cases was because the children were not immunised against the disease.

Majority of the cases involved private homes (63.6 per cent) followed by institutions (28.8 per cent) and community (7.6 per cent).

“In 2015, there were 1,318 cases of measles with two deaths, and this year, there has not been any deaths,” he said in a statement which was uploaded on his Facebook page today.

Dr Noor Hisham said 66 outbreaks were reported during the first week of June, a five-fold increase compared to the corresponding period last year.

“In 2014, there were only 11 reported cases of measles (first week of June) and increased to 57 cases in 2015.”

In the case of chicken pox, Dr Noor Hisham said 109 cases were reported this year, a 34.7 per cent drop compared to the 167 in 2015 and 125 in 2014.

No deaths from chicken pox were reported in the last three years.

A majority of cases this year involve institutions (90 per cent) such as nurseries, kindergartens, day care centres and detention centres.

He said measles and chickenpox were vaccine preventable diseases spread via the air and direct contact to an infected person’s fluid droplets.

Immunisation against measles would be given to children between the nine and 12 months while chicken pox was not included in the National Immunisation Programme. — Bernama

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