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Wednesday October 12, 2005

Dengue claims another life


PUTRAJAYA: Another dengue death was reported last Saturday, bringing the number of fatalities this year to 76. 

The latest person to die from the disease was a 30-year-old diabetic man from Kuantan who fell ill on Oct 4 after a trip to Kuala Langat in Selangor. 

He was admitted to a private hospital on Oct 5 and transferred to Tengku Afzan Hospital last Saturday and died the same day, said Health Ministry disease control division director Dr Ramlee Rahmat yesterday. 

The number of suspected dengue cases reported in Week 40 (Oct 2 to 8) was 1,201 – an increase of 178 cases compared with the 1,023 cases reported in Week 39. 

He said the rise in suspected cases could be due to health department staff stepping up case detection exercises. 

Health department personnel are now checking the homes and neighbourhoods of those warded with suspected dengue, to find out if others in their household were ill, he said, adding that about 30% of the suspected cases would turn out to be dengue. 

“If the public can be more vigilant, ensure their premises are clean, with no opportunity for aedes mosquitoes to breed, we can reduce the number of dengue cases significantly,” he said. 

Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr Teoh Siang Chin urged the public to also monitor areas around their residence or workplace and report mosquito breeding grounds, Bernama reported. 

“The MMA feels strongly that the eradication of the dengue problem can be achieved if the public work closely with the relevant government authorities,” he said in a statement yesterday. 

Dr Teoh welcomed the move by the Health Ministry to penalise hospitals and schools found to have mosquito breeding grounds. 

“This action is long overdue. It is common knowledge that dengue is as much an environmental issue as a health issue. 

“There are many areas under the local authorities, especially abandoned construction sites and unkempt public areas, which are often overlooked,” he said.  

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