National dengue alert

06 Feb 2014 / 22:34 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6, 2014): The dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever situation is worsening nationwide, with the number of cases hitting 9,453 and 17 deaths, all within the first 37 days of this year.
    For the same period last year, the figures were only 2,559 cases and five deaths.
    Expressing concern, Deputy Director-General of Health (Public Health) Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said today: "Dengue is not only a big issue in Malaysia but also globally, as countries worldwide are experiencing an increase in deaths and cases and this is very worrying."
    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dengue cases has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. Over 2.5 billion people – more than 40% of the world's population – are now at risk from dengue and WHO currently estimates that there may be 50 million to 100 million dengue infections worldwide every year.
    Lokman said the ministry has intensified its efforts to contain the outbreak but added that the public also needs to play an important role by keeping their houses and surroundings clean and free of mosquito breeding grounds.
    "We can only contain the outbreak with public cooperation, especially from people living in urban areas," he said, adding that three states have shown high incidences of the disease – Negri Sembilan, Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya and Sarawak.
    He said that in view of the situation, even Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam was going to the ground once every two weeks to check on the situation.
    The ministry has identified 594 dengue hotspots in the country, with 115 in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Lokman said.
    He urged members of the public suffering from high fever (40°C/ 104°F) accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rashes, to seek immediate medical help.
    "Do not wait till the situation worsens as severe dengue is a potentially deadly complication," he said, adding that all hospitals and clinics were on the alert for dengue cases.

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