Dengue spike alert

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016

Watchful eye: Public health officers doing a routine check on households for breeding grounds of the Aedes mosquito to prevent an expected increase in dengue cases in the coming months.

KUALA LUMPUR: A possible spike in the number of dengue cases is expected between June and August.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said this was based on a comparison with last year’s pattern of reported dengue cases.

“Last year’s pattern revealed that cases peaked in February, then tapered off until June, and peaked again between then and August.

“This year there was a spike in dengue cases in February, so we are looking at a possible resurgence in cases come June,” he said at the Allied Against Dengue programme launch.

The programme by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) together with the Malaysian Medical Asso­ciation, Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society and Guardian aims to empower healthcare providers, organisations and committees to tackle dengue in a holistic manner.

Dr Subramaniam said an estimated 120,000 dengue cases were reported last year, with 87 fatalities.

As of March, 37,000 cases had been reported for this year, the bulk of them in February alone.

In preparation for the potential spike in cases, Dr Subramaniam said the ministry would carry out a massive enforcement programme against those allowing mosquitoes to breed from April 11 onwards.

“If we do not crack down on the errant parties, the dengue rate may be even higher than it was last year,” he said.

Dr Subramaniam noted that Aedes mosquito eggs could last up to six months without water.

They would hatch once a water source, usually rainwater, was available.

The Health Ministry is also hoping to increase the number of blood donations by urging shopping centres and other buildings to set up permanent donation suites on their premises.

Dr Subramaniam said this was imperative since 80% of the donations received by the National Blood Bank were from its mobile unit.

“And now, the first ever blood donation suite in Mid Valley Megamall has brought in over 3,000 blood bags since its inception in October last year.

“This is a good initiative, and I hope other malls and workplaces will collaborate with the National Blood Bank to have similar centres,” he said at the launch of the blood donation suite in Mid Valley Megamall yesterday.

The shopping centre’s management, IGB Reit had offered a shoplot for this purpose, rent free.

“The suite is operated by trained staff from the blood bank and the Health Ministry, so there is nothing to fear,” said Dr Subramaniam.

He observed that awareness of blood donation had increased over the years, with more people stepping forward to give blood.

A total of 183,819 blood bags had been collected last year, of which 1,526 had been from the blood donation suite, which is open every day from 10am to 9pm and located on the highest floor of the mall, near the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre.

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