PUTRAJAYA, Oct 2 — The Health Ministry (MOH) is on the alert with a high level of preparedness to face the possibility of Disease X appearing in this country, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan.

Speaking to reporters after the launching of the Malaysian Diet Guide Series and the Healthy Eating Responsibility For Women (HER) Initiative here today, he said the public need not feel too worried about the disease.

“Although Disease X was not the focus of the recent 76th United Nations General Assembly, Malaysia remains alert to the possibility of the emergence of Disease X.

“And we are confident that we can deal with it effectively based on our experience with previous disease outbreaks including Covid-19, Nipah virus, SARS, and MERS-CoV,” he said.


Besides, he said the Malaysian health system is also always strengthened to deal with the disease while information about disease outbreaks will always be communicated openly.

He said the public needs to get information and be prepared to face the disease including following health guidelines, good health practices and getting the latest information on the disease.

Disease X is the name coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 for an unknown pathogen with the potential to cause a worldwide epidemic.


Although the nature and timing of Disease X has yet to be identified, it is reported that health experts have voiced concerns about the impact of the disease.

Meanwhile, in his opening speech at the event, Dr Muhammad Radzi said overweight and obesity remained a major public health problem, with 50.1 per cent of Malaysians recorded having the problem in 2019.

The Malaysian National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2019 showed that one out of three students experienced the problem, with an increase in the prevalence among students aged 10 to 17 years, from 26.9 per cent in 2012 to 30.4 per cent in 2017, he said.

On the Malaysian Diet Guide Series, he said it is a scientific document specially published for a healthy population with the latest information as well as suggested approaches to achieve the key messages of food care through the book.

The HER initiative is a continuation and translation of the Malaysian Diet Guide to prevent and control nutritional problems among women of reproductive age between 15 and 49 years. — Bernama