IPOH: Dengue cases are expected to increase this year due to the changes in weather and the dengue strains.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the increase was also because of the lack of immunity to the changes in the dengue virus type among Malaysians.
"With the changing of the weather, the type of dengue will also change.
"There are four strains, from Type One to Type Four, and these would rotate," he told reporters after launching an anti-Aedes mosquito campaign organised by the Kinta District Health Department and the Ipoh South Rotary Club here on Sunday (Feb 24).
"Last year, we had Type One and now we have Type Two," he said, adding that both were different viruses.
"With such changes, the people do not have immunity towards it and it will cause more cases, including the mortality rate," he added.
Dr Lee said those who had been infected with Type One would not get it again as they had developed the immunity.
"They can still get Type 2, which is more serious.
"It's the reason why the vaccine failed in the Phillippines," he said, adding that the dengue outbreak was expected to peak between December and February.
He said more awareness on dengue should be created to educate the people.
"We will also beef up our efforts and mobilise the Community Behavorial Impact (Combi) team to control dengue by fogging and also using larvicide to kill the pest," he said.
"We also need the involvement of the people, which is important, to ensure the cleanliness in the surroundings of their homes," he added.