Concern over rise in dengue cases


  • Letters
  • Saturday, 04 Jan 2003

I AM saddened that several people in my neighbourhood have contracted dengue fever.  

For the record, we have also had fatalities. Among them were a Subang Jaya resident and a former Universiti Hospital eye specialist and associate professor, who was a shining beacon and friend to his colleagues and students.  

Despite all the hype, propaganda and publicity on how e-savvy the Subang Jaya Municipal Council is, the township has the distinction of being singled out as the “dengue capital of the nation’’, especially in the “high-demand residential areas’’ in USJ.  

It is a pity that a township has turned into a nightmarish concrete jungle – thanks to the incompetent enforcement, questionable and arbitrarily approvals for buildings and haphazard development.  

The authorities, instead of mobilising a massive campaign to contain the outbreak of dengue fever, are telling us to be calm and saying we are “currently experiencing an increase in the number of cases compared to 2001, but it has not reached the epidemic stage’’.  

How many body bags must we fill before it is to be classified an epidemic and worthy of a national alert? 

In 2001, Malaysia posted 50 deaths and reported 8,669 dengue cases. The World Health Organisation five months ago warned countries in the tropical region, including Malaysia, to be prepared for an increase in the number of dengue cases because of present weather conditions. 

It is a pity our local authorities have not adequately responded to the alert.  

 

DR JACOB GEORGE,  

Subang Jaya.  

(via e-mail) 

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