PENANG: Dengue fever has claimed a fifth victim here, making the current outbreak the state’s worst in 13 years.
Policeman Abdul Rahim Md Noor, 46, died yesterday, five days after being admitted to the Penang Hospital.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said that one or two deaths from dengue haemorrhagic fever were usually reported annually, but he added that up to yesterday there had been five.
“Even when the dengue epidemic hit the state in 2001, only one death was reported from 1,258 confirmed cases,” he told reporters at Balik Pulau Hospital after visiting dengue patients.
The Chief Minister also attended the fogging of the teachers’ quarters in Jalan Mount Erskine.
He then visited the dengue-hit areas of Kampung Paya and Sungai Batu in Teluk Kumbar.
Dr Koh urged the people to work together with the health department and MPPP to fight the dengue scourge before the situation worsened.
“Fogging affected areas is not enough. The people must ensure that their compounds are clean and that there are no stagnant pools of water for aedes mosquitoes to breed,'' he said.
State health committee chairman P.K. Subbaiyah said 87 people with dengue fever had been warded at government and private hospitals, and their condition was reported to be stable.
“To date, 589 dengue fever cases have been recorded, mainly in Teluk Kumbar, Sungai Nibong, Bayan Lepas, Bayan Baru and Bukit Gedung,'' he added.
He said the council had fogged nearly 780,000 premises and issued summonses to 376 house owners whose premises were found to have mosquito larvae.
Subbaiyah said the public could call the council through its hotline (04-2291179) from 8am to 10pm daily to complain about uncollected rubbish and dense undergrowth, which could become mosquito breeding grounds.
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