Disturbing rise in number of dengue cases in S'gor


A worker from a private company fogging a neighbourhood in Selangor. This is a common sight as Selangor is experiencing an increased number of dengue cases. — filepic

A worker from a private company fogging a neighbourhood in Selangor. This is a common sight as Selangor is experiencing an increased number of dengue cases. — filepic

HOSPITALS in Selangor continue to see the relentless climb in dengue cases, with 59 deaths recorded from Jan 1 to Oct 7.

With 39,033 confirmed cases as of Saturday last week the Selangor Health Department and various other authorities are worried more will be affected by the mosquito-borne disease due to the sudden rainy spell combined with warm weather.

Based on the Health Ministry’s statistics on dengue cases in Selangor, the state recorded an estimated 130 cases daily, or more than 900 cases a week.

The figure is also alarming as it made up more than half of the 74,641 confirmed cases reported nationwide as of Oct 7.

Indiscriminately dumped rubbish often becomes breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes. Dr Daroyah said resident should to clean up their surroundings to eradicate potential breeding sites. — filepic
Indiscriminately dumped rubbish often becomes breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes. Dr Daroyah said resident should to clean up their surroundings to eradicate potential breeding sites. — filepic

Number of deaths nationwide stands at 159.

On May 17 this year, StarMetro reported that Selangor recorded 18,534 cases from Jan 1 to May 13, with 29 deaths.

Selangor health officials are worried more people will be affected due to the disturbing pattern.

State Health, Welfare, Women and Family Affairs Committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi said out of the nine districts, Hulu Langat recorded 12,012 cases with 28 deaths while Petaling had 11,794 cases and 13 deaths.

“Klang, the third highest with 6,563 cases, recorded five deaths,” she said.

As of this week, Petaling was noted to have 11 hotspots and Hulu Langat had nine hotspots.

Dr Daroyah said all local councils in the nine districts have been told to engage the communities to clean up their surroundings to eradicate mosquito breeding sites.

“Aedes mosquitoes breed in discarded containers such as tin cans, containers left in shaded areas and even in dried crumpled leaves that collect rain water.

“We found defective rain harvester containers fitted in certain housing areas in Klang also being breeding grounds,” she said, adding that the intermittent rains worsened the situation.

She urged all local councillors to work with resident’s associations, the Rukun Tetangga sector and village heads on programmes engaging the people to identify Aedes mosquito breeding areas and clean up the sites.

“Just spend 10 minutes a week to ensure empty containers are not filled with water and become Aedes mosquito breeding sites.

“The initiative, known as Search and Destroy Aedes Rangers (Sedar) programme, uses a community-based participatory approach to identify ways to reduce the incidence of dengue in residential areas,” she said.

Dr Daroyah added that health authorities in all nine districts are on alert as certain neighbourhoods have been tagged as hotspot areas.

A signboard advising the public to beware of dengue. — filepic

“Fighting dengue cannot be done by the agencies alone. It is crucial to have community support to stop the chain of dengue transmission.

“Sedar programme aims to promote awareness on the dengue situation and inspire action to prevent dengue,” she said.

Classic symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, headache, body ache (both muscle and bone), weakness, vomiting, sore throat, altered taste sensation and a centrifugal maculopapular rash, among others.

Selangor MCA Public Complaints Bureau chief Kelvin Chong Seng Foo said councillors in-charge of neighbourhoods must not shirk from their duties but visit the areas and advise people to clean up their surroundings. He said councillors have been appointed as dengue rangers for their zone.

“Since the councillors have been given that role, more effort must be put in to visit sites of abandoned buildings, high-rise buildings, commercial areas, residential areas, schools, factories, and government premises to identify breeding grounds,” he said.

Chong added that it was a collective effort by houseowners and even cleaning contractors.

“It would be good to conduct fogging in high risk areas like construction sites and back lanes.

“I suggest that local councils go down to schools to ensure there is no stagnant water and stop-corks to toilet cisterns are shut off next week during the one-week Deepavali festive break,” he said.

Chong added that most times the mosquito larvae are found in the cisterns with clean water.

“That is an ideal breeding ground, where it is not flushed out especially when school is closed.

“Dengue is not biased, it gets anyone. It is important that residents cooperate and embrace a proactive approach in spending 10 minutes to clean up their compound,” he added.