KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 154 people have died due to dengue as of Oct 26, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The Health Minister said this was a 48.1% rise in the number of fatalities compared to the same period last year, where 104 deaths were recorded.
"As of Oct 26, there were 108,606 cases compared to 61,254 cases for the same period last year. This is a 77.3% rise or an increase of 47,352 cases," he said when answering a question raised by Nor Azrina Surip (PH-Merbok) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Oct 30).
Dr Dzulkefly added that Selangor recorded 60,024 dengue cases followed by the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with 13,435, Johor (9,194), Kelantan (5,024), Sabah (4,444) and Penang (3,804).
He added that nine other states recorded less than 3,000 dengue cases respectively.
"The rise in the number of dengue cases is not happening only in Malaysia as there is a one to eight-fold increase in other countries such as Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China and Taiwan," he said.
Besides awareness and enforcement campaigns, Dr Zulkefly said the Health Ministry had also resorted to releasing aedes mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria among the aedes mosquito population.
"The presence of the Wolbachia bacteria in the aedes mosquitoes will retard the development of the dengue virus in mosquitoes and lower the risk of virus infections in humans," he added.
He said under the first phase of the project, aedes mosquitoes injected with the Wolbachia bacteria were released in the Petaling district and Kuala Lumpur.
Dr Dzulkefly noted that studies by the Institute of Medical Research Malaysia revealed that this method could reduce the dengue infection rate by between 50% and 70%.
He said based on the outcome of the project and the allocation provided, the release of the aedes mosquitoes that contain the Wolbachia bacteria would be done nationwide in stages.
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