Dengue on the rise in three states

  • Nation
  • Friday, 31 Jan 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: Johor, Pahang and Perak have reported big increases in the number of dengue cases recently. 

In Johor Baru, the number of dengue cases went up by 68% to 3,952 cases with 20 deaths last year compared to 2,345 cases with 12 deaths in 2000. 

In the first 18 days of this year, 628 dengue cases were reported with two deaths. 

State health committee chairman Datin Halimah Mohd Sadique has attributed public apathy towards cleanliness and hygiene, as well as lack of enforcement as factors contributing to the sudden surge in the number of dengue cases in Johor. 

She said most dengue cases were reported in squatter houses, foreign immigrant settlements and low-cost residential areas. 

Residential areas near development projects also registered several cases because developers’ failed to get rid of tins and containers to prevent water from accumulating. 

In Kuantan, state Health, Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Dr Ahmad Shukri Ismail said that in November and December last year Pahang recorded 163 cases and 219 cases respectively compared to 57 and 80 in 2001. 

Dr Ahmad Shukri said there were two deaths recorded last year. There were none the year before. 

He also said the monsoon season with unusually high rainfall was also one of the contributing factors for the increase in cases. 

However, he said in Pahang the situation was under control, adding that proactive action had been taken to curb the menace. 

In Ipoh, state health department statistics showed that the number of dengue cases in Perak showed a 134.9% increase in 2002 from the previous year. 

There were 3,280 cases and 12 deaths reported last year compared to only 1,396 cases and five deaths in 2001. 

In December 2002 alone, there were 663 cases with nearly one-third (188) of the cases occurring in Kinta Barat and Selatan. 

This is followed by areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Ipoh City Council (110), Kuala Kangsar (97), Hilir Perak (94), Manjung (69), Larut Matang and Selama (67), Batang Padang (24), Perak Tengah (7), Hulu Perak (6) and Kerian (1). 

Figures for the same period in 2001 show that there were only 230 cases and one death reported. 

The highest number of cases were reported in Manjung (74), followed by Larut Matang and Selama (45), Taiping (29), Ipoh (25), Batang Padang (18), Kinta (16), Kuala Kangsar (14), Hilir Perak (7) and Kerian (2). 

There were no cases reported in Hulu Perak and Perak Tengah. 

As for this year, three deaths had been reported in the state so far with all three cases occurring in Manjoi.  

State Health, Science, Technology and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ho Cheng Wang said the anti-dengue committee would be carrying out efforts to destroy mosquito-breeding grounds in dengue-prone areas. 

In Malacca, however, the number of dengue cases have reduced this month compared to the last three months, said Datuk Seah Kwi Tong, state committee chairman for human resources, health and consumer affairs. 

So far, the total number of cases were 36 up till Jan 25. 

A total of 80 cases were recorded in December, 37 cases in November and 41 cases in October last year. 

For the fourth week of this month, Seah said seven cases were detected in Alor Gajah, Melaka Tengah and Jasin. 

In Kuching, more schools in Sarawak had been found to be breeding grounds for the aedes mosquito, state health director Dr Yao Sik Chi said. 

He said the inspections by the department had also detected such breeding grounds in shophouses, septic tanks and dumping grounds. 

He added that the department had intensified control and preventive measures, like mass fogging and destroying aedes breeding grounds.

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