93.2% spike in dengue cases in Penang, says state health director

GEORGE TOWN: Dengue cases in Penang have increased by 93.2% this year with 595 cases recorded as of Sept 24 compared to 308 cases during the corresponding period last year, says state health director Datuk Dr Ma'arof Sudin.

He said no death was reported while the number of cases was lower compared during the pandemic - a decrease of 26.2% or 806 cases in 2020 and 83.4% or 3,754 cases in 2019.

"Meanwhile as of Sept 24, the number of outbreaks reported was 42 cases compared to only 7 cases in the same period last year," he said in a statement on Monday (Sept 26).

He said from the total number of outbreaks reported, 33 have ended while the remaining nine are still active.

Dr Ma'arof said in an effort to control the outbreak, control and prevention activities were carried out in the affected localities to break the chain of the infection.

He said the vector control activities carried out are inspections of premises, fogging and health education has also been conducted for every single case or outbreak of dengue.

"Prevention activities were also conducted at high risk and priority locality in Penang," he said.

He said as of Sept 24, a total of 312,711 premises were inspected and 445 compounds worth RM222,500 were issued under the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975 to owners of premises for "breeding” Aedes mosquito.

He said in an effort to prevent dengue cases, Penangites must be responsible in making sure their surroundings are clean and to destroy Aedes mosquitoes breeding ground at their house or premises.

"The public can use aerosol sprays to kill adult mosquitoes while they are at home and try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves and using mosquito repellant when outdoors," he said, adding that those with fever, severe joint pain and rashes should seek immediate treatment.

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