Health D-G warns of spike in dengue cases across Malaysia

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya June 8, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya June 8, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Malaysia is projected to record a higher number of dengue cases from this month until September after the disease showed an upward trend of 8 per cent for six consecutive weeks, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said that 84 deaths were reported in that time frame compared to 83 in the same period last year.

“Based on preliminary investigations into the 84 dengue-related deaths earlier this year, it was found that 11 per cent were late in seeking treatment, about three days after the symptoms first appeared.

“The Health Ministry (MOH) expects an increase in dengue cases with the second wave starting from early June until September 2020, as based on the trend of dengue fever cases over the last five years,” he told his daily health briefing in Putrajaya today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the risk has also increased as the country is expected to open more business sectors, whose premises have not been in use since March 18, under the recovery movement control order (RMCO), which starts on June 10.

He urged the public and business owners to clean up those places favoured by the Aedes mosquito — the carrier for dengue fever — as its breeding ground.

“In this regard, the public are urged to improve the level of cleanliness in their respective areas, especially places where water stagnates such as pools and toilets that are all potential places for the Aedes mosquito to breed.

“The fight against the Aedes mosquito and dengue fever is our responsibility, just as the community has worked together to stem the spread of the Covid-19 infection,” he said.

He added that the MOH recommends, among other things, that the public and business owners clean their premises, both indoor and outdoor areas, on a weekly basis, in addition to spraying with insecticide those places that have been unused since the start of the MCO.

“If you have dengue fever symptoms, seek treatment at the nearest health facility immediately. The enforcement of the conditional movement control order or RMCO should not be a hindrance to early treatment.

“All healthcare facilities, both public and private, should be on alert for suspected dengue cases. They need immediate treatment and referral in case of further treatment,” he said.

According to MOH’s Crisis Preparedness Response Centre (CPRC), Malaysia recorded over 130,101 dengue cases last year, rising 61 per cent from 2018 with 182 deaths.

Related Articles