PUTRAJAYA: The disease that has affected the Orang Asli of Kg Kuala Koh in Gua Musang has been identified as measles by the Health Ministry.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said up until June 15, the ministry has confirmed that 37 people have tested positive for measles based on laboratory tests.
“The main factor that has caused the spread of measles among the Orang Asli in Kg Kuala Koh is the low coverage of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunisation among them.
“Only 61.5% have received their first dose of MMR vaccine and 30% have received their second dose,” said Dr Dzulkefly at a press conference here.
The minister added that lab tests for other diseases such as tuberculosis, melioidosis, leptospirosis and coronavirus have proven negative.
“Our medical teams find it difficult to reach out and provide health services in a more wholesome way to the Bateq tribe due to their nomadic lifestyle,” said Dr Dzulkefly.
Dr Dzulkefly said so far, the ministry has tended to a total of 112 cases related to the disease that has ravaged Kg Kuala Koh since early June.
There has been three deaths that has been officially reported to the ministry, although unofficially there are about 15 casualties.
The most recent case saw the death of a three-year-old toddler on Sunday (June 16) evening due to measles and pneumonia with multi-organ failure.