Dengue cases among migrant workers up 400% in Klang

A Klang Municipal Council worker conducting fogging at Bandar Sultan Suleiman, Port Klang.

MIGRANT workers make up a large part of Klang’s dengue statistics.

Klang Municipal Council’s (MPK) Health and Environmental Department director Azmi Muji said dengue among migrant workers went up by 399% or 504 cases as of April 30, compared with the corresponding period last year (101 migrants with dengue).

Azmi says the rubbish littering at the migrant workers’ quarters is a factor in the rise of cases.Azmi says the rubbish littering at the migrant workers’ quarters is a factor in the rise of cases.

An average of 29 confirmed cases of dengue have been reported weekly among migrant workers since the start of the year.

From January to April, Klang district recorded 3,562 dengue cases. No deaths were recorded.

Last year, 386 migrant workers were hospitalised for the vector-borne disease, out of the total 6,158 dengue cases recorded in Klang.

“Our studies revealed that the migrants’ living conditions had an effect,” said Azmi.

“It is because of the indiscriminate disposal of rubbish.

“Even drains around the walk-up apartments rented by migrants are littered with single-use plastics and used bottles.”

Azmi said the top three areas where migrant workers contracted dengue were Taman Perindustrian Pulau Indah (Jalan Perigi Nenas 8/3 to 8/13), Sri Nelayan Flats in Telok Gong and PKNS Flats at Bandar Sultan Suleiman.

“Council health inspectors carried out investigations and deduced that the migrant workers were most likely infected at their living quarters, but two workers contracted the disease from construction sites,” he said.

Azmi further said that checks in the top three hotspot areas found that some of the drains were choked with rubbish.

He said that lately, Klang had been experiencing heavy rain in the afternoons and there were concerns that the number of dengue cases would keep rising.

“We want everyone to maintain a clean environment to prevent dengue,” he reiterated.

According to the district Health Department’s brochure on dengue prevention, Aedes mosquito eggs can remain dormant in dry conditions for up to about nine months and can hatch within hours if exposed to even a teaspoon of water.

It will then take four days for the larvae to develop into pupae, from which adult mosquitoes will emerge two days later.

Peak feeding time for Aedes mosquitoes is at dawn and dusk.

Azmi said dengue prevention and control was a collective responsibility among the local authorities, communities and individuals.

Meanwhile, MPK environmental health officer Zakaria Ismail said the council’s team carried out a search-and- destroy programme at various areas where migrant workers live and also at construction sites to detect and eliminate Aedes mosquito breeding sites.

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