PETALING JAYA: More dengue cases were recorded in five states in the first week of this year compared with the last week of 2006, according to the Health Ministry.
Kelantan registered the highest jump, up almost 80%, from 18 to 32 cases, while Selangor had the most number of cases – 562 compared with 471 in the previous week, said Health deputy director-general (Public Health) Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat.
The number of cases in Pahang went up from 35 to 47, Negri Sembilan (20 to 26), and Sabah (nine to 12).
However, the number of cases dropped in Perak, Terengganu, Sarawak, Malacca, Penang, Johor and the Federal Territory.
Dr Ramlee said the first week of this year 1,155 suspected dengue cases were recorded, up by five cases from the last week of last year.
Of that number, 250 were confirmed to be dengue.
He, however, added that the dengue virus was now in a transition stage which may pose a setback to the general public.
“There are four types of dengue (Dengue-1, 2, 3 and 4). The type of dengue that is more predominant will change from time to time (usually one to two years).”
Dr Ramlee said since the public had been exposed to Dengue-1 for the last two years or so, the change to Dengue-2 might pose a problem, as people could be less immune to the new type of dengue virus.
When asked if this would cause an increase in mortality rates, Dr Ramlee said it would not and that there was no reason for panic.
“It does not mean a certain type of dengue is more dangerous than the other. They are more or less the same,” he added.
Dr Ramlee said what was more important was prevention methods to make sure Aedes mosquitoes were not allowed to breed.
On the measures adopted by the ministry, Dr Ramlee said preventive efforts had been stepped up particularly in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, where the number of cases was high, and in Johor, which was hit by floods recently.
He also said that the ministry had deployed 60 health personnel from Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan to help with the integrated dengue control operation with the local authorities in Selangor which began on Jan 5.
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