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Guidelines to contain outbreak of rat urine disease

SHAH ALAM: The Federal Govern­­ment has issued new guidelines to contain the outbreak of leptospirosis, said Urban Well­being, Housing and Local Govern­ment Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

The Government is concerned about leptospirosis infection getting out of control and the issue is a matter of priority, he said.

“The guidelines were released at the National Council Meeting on Local Governments last Monday,” said Noh during a press confe­rence after the meeting.

“One of the main topics during this meeting was leptospirosis,” he added.

He said this was the first time guidelines on leptospirosis had been issued and added the meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Mi­­nister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

All local authorities are now responsible for implementing the measures, he said.

Noh also then lashed out at the Selangor government for only sending a division secretary for the meeting.

“All other states were represen­ted by their respective mentris besar and chief ministers while Penang and Kelantan sent their executive councillors in charge of local go­­vern­ment.

“But Selangor sent only an offi­cer,” said Noh.

Leptospirosis is a serious bacte­rial infection commonly transmitted by rodents such as rats through their urine.

Infection occurs when water or soil containing the urine comes in contact with the eyes, nose, mouth or cuts and bruises in the skin or is ingested through food.

According to data from Noh’s ministry, there were 7,806 reported leptospirosis cases in 2014 with 92 deaths, 8,291 cases in 2015 with 78 deaths in 2015 and 5,285 cases with 52 deaths in 2016.

Last year, Kelantan had 863 cases with five deaths, Selangor 847 cases with eight deaths and Sarawak 844 cases with three deaths.

From January to May this year, there were 1,903 reported cases of leptospirosis nationwide with nine deaths.