DENGUE cases in Petaling Jaya were on a downward trend in the five weeks from Jan 1 to Feb 5, said Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Health Department director Dr Abdul Ghalib Sulaiman.
He said 187 cases were reported in Petaling Jaya from Jan 1 to Feb 5, compared to 383 cases in the same period of 2017.
The council owes it to the people’s initiative, known as the Search and Destroy Aedes Rangers (Sedar) programme.
Sedar uses a community-based participatory approach to identify ways to reduce dengue cases in residential areas.
Dr Abdul Ghalib said fighting dengue could not be done by the agencies alone.
“It is crucial to have community support to stop the chain of dengue transmission.
“The Sedar programme aims to promote awareness on the dengue situation and inspire action to prevent the problem,” he said after a fogging exercise at Taman Sri Manja in PJ South 3 and its surrounding areas.
He said in 2016, 5,620 dengue cases and six deaths were recorded in Petaling Jaya and in 2017, the number of cases was 3,489 with three deaths – a 38% drop in cases while deaths were down by half.
“Even though we see a downward trend, our concern was still around Taman Medan, PJ South 1, 2 and 3.
“From Jan 1 to Feb 5 last year, the areas in PJ South 1, 2 and 3 recorded 51 dengue cases but in the same corresponding period of 2018, we had 29 cases – a 43% reduction.”
“It was still a concern for us as, a dengue cluster indicates a locality with active transmission. We treat it as a risk when two or more cases occur within 14 days and are located within 150m of each other (based on residential and workplace addresses as well as movement history),” he added.
He said dengue hotspots occurred in densely populated areas, and usually was preceded by a gradual localised build-up of Aedes mosquito density.
Dr Abdul Ghalib added that MBPJ was also concerned about two other areas – Flat Impian Baiduri, Section 51A (14 dengue cases) and Palm Spring Condo in PJ North 3, where seven cases were recorded in a little more than a month.
“We are concerned and are going all out with the Sedar programme and to fog these areas.
“In some areas we have placed ovitraps to stop the mosquito eggs from hatching,” he said.
Ovitrap is a device consisting of a dark container containing water and substrate to kill the mosquito larvae and to act as an early warning signal to preempt disease outbreaks.
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.