Hilmi: Don't panic, reported rotavirus cases not contagious type

BALIK PULAU: The Health Ministry today advised the public not to panic over the recently reported cases of rotavirus infections in Melaka and Kedah.

Its deputy minister, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya also urged the public not to link the rotavirus cases in the two states together although they occurred at the same time as these reported cases were not epidemic.

Nevertheless, he reminded the public to observe good hygiene like washing their hands clean and to drink boiled water to prevent themselves from contracting the disease.

"There's vaccine for rotavirus, but the government does not provide this vaccine as it is pig-derived. However, it can be obtained from the private hospitals and clinics," he said after opening the Kuala Sungai Pinang Fishermen's Association annual general meeting, here, today.

Kedah had reportedly early this month, recorded 11 new cases of rotavirus infections involving children and adolescents while the Melaka Health Department is investigating the claim of rotavirus cases in the state which went viral in the social media on Tuesday.

Rotavirus is a virus that causes diarrhoea, mostly in babies and young children. The diarrhoea can be severe and lead to dehydration, while vomiting and fever are also common in babies with rotavirus.

Meanwhile, Dr Hilmi who is also the Balik Pulau MP, said Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) personnel would be stationed in Pulau Betong, here, to tackle the problem of encroachment of the coastal waters by trawler boats.

He said the proposed building of an MMEA centre here had been forwarded to the Penang MMEA last month which agreed with the proposal.

"This is to provide quick response to encroachment by trawler boats, which has adversely affected the livelihood of coastal fishermen."

He added that besides the problem of encroachment, most of the fishermen here had yet to own a house, adding that although the federal government had built housing projects for fishermen here, the ownership distribution was determined by the state government.

He claimed that the state government did not allocate all the housing projects undertaken by the federal government agencies to the locals but to those from outside Balik Pulau. — Bernama