PENANG: There are nine confirmed dengue cases including one death in Bukit Mertajam, said state Health, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Datuk Dr K. Rajapathy.
He said five cases were in the vicinity of Jalan Pegawai and the nearby wet market and another four cases in Taman Makok.
He said the death of a 37-year-old market trader on July 23 was the second such death in the state this year.
Dr Rajapathy said that since the discovery of the cases in Jalan Pegawai and the market area, the state health department had checked 1,206 premises and fogging was conducted on at least three occasions to control the spread of dengue.
He said 202 premises in Taman Makok were also checked and two residential premises were compounded when Aedes mosquito larvae were detected.
Dr Rajapathy said the state health department had stepped up anti-dengue measures and the number of reported dengue cases in Penang was “greatly reduced” this year.
“Up to July 26, there were 282 cases in Penang compared with 374 cases for the same period last year,” he said.
Bukit Mertajam Wet Market Vegetable Sellers Association deputy secretary Chang Song Cheung, 42, said it was important to thoroughly clean the market because seven of his friends had contracted dengue including one who died last week.
Chang said the wet market was filthy with clogged drains and the traders were unhappy with the services provided by the contractor appointed by the Seberang Perai Municipal Council.
“There are about 800 traders but the contractor only hired six workers to maintain the area.
“Something should be done because dengue fever is spreading rapidly among us,” he said after accompanying Berapit assemblyman Lau Chiek Tuan to the Seberang Jaya Hospital to visit two of his friends Tan Eng Keang and Lee Ah Bah who were warded there.
Tan was admitted to the hospital on Monday while Lee was hospitalised on Friday.
Chang’s neighbour at the market, Low Chye Hee, died of dengue haemorrhagic fever on July 23.
DAP deputy secretary-general and Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng said the health department should warn the people about the dengue outbreak in Bukit Mertajam.
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