Health Ministry: 20 cases of suspected measles among Orang Asli in two states

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Jun 2019

PETALING JAYA: After the Kampung Kuala Koh measles outbreak, the Health Ministry has now received reports of 20 cases of suspected measles at two Orang Asli villages in Terengganu and Pahang.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that out of the 20 cases, 11 were confirmed to be measles as of Tuesday (June 18), following lab tests.

The Orang Asli community from Kampung Gerdong, Hulu Terengganu, has a history of contact with the Orang Asli of Kampung Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, Kelantan who were recently hit with an outbreak of measles.

Some of the Orang Asli from Kampung Ulu Sat, Jerantut, Pahang had also travelled to Kampung Gerdong in the past, said Dr Dzulkefly.

"The Health Ministry has received reports of cases that are suspected to be measles among the Orang Asli in Kampung Gerdong (12 cases) and in Kampung Ulu Sat, Jerantut (eight cases).

"Preliminary investigations found that there was history of contact or movement between the suspected cases in Hulu Terengganu with the Bateq tribe from Kampung Kuala Koh.

"Meanwhile for the cluster in Jerantut, there was history of movement as some of the community members had gone to Kampung Gerdong.

"Through lab tests, as many as seven cases in Terengganu and four cases in Pahang were confirmed to be measles," he told reporters after attending the Mental Health Experiential Conference 2019 at a hotel here on Tuesday.

Dr Dzulkefly added that the villages affected had been cordoned off to limit public access and to ensure that the disease was contained.

"The Health Ministry continues to work with the relevant agencies in containing the spread of this disease.

"For now, the situation is under control. The public is urged to not be worried and the Health Ministry will inform of the latest developments from time to time," he said.

So far, there were three deaths among the Orang Asli of Kampung Kuala Koh, with the most recent case being the death of a three-year-old toddler on Sunday (June 16) due to measles and pneumonia with multi-organ failure.

Meanwhile, the remains of another 12 Orang Asli from the same community, believed to have died from a yet to be determined illness, had been found and currently undergoing post-mortem.

"Results from the post-mortem samples sent to the lab will be obtained in a few days.

"A team of forensics expert are conducting further investigations to determine the real cause of deaths," added Dr Dzulkefly.

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