National dengue death toll hits 40, down from last year: MOH


KUALA LUMPUR: The death toll from dengue fever in the country so far this year stands at 40 (as of Feb 25), compared to 54 reported in the corresponding period in 2016, the Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed yesterday.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said cumulative cases from Jan 1 to Feb 25 stand at 14,513, compared to 25,403 cases for the same period last year.

"Locality monitoring for dengue fever outbreaks shows 678 localities are still experiencing an active epidemic, with 94 hotspots, involving five states, namely in Selangor (69 localities), Perak (15 localities), Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (four localities) and three localities each in Johor and Negri Sembilan," he said in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham said residents in affected areas are encouraged to use aerosol sprays, as well as to cooperate with health department personnel in carrying out fogging to eradicate aedes mosquitoes.

He also said there were 50 positive cases of Chikungunya reported between Feb 15 and March 2, with 36 cases in Baling, Kedah, and 14 cases in Gombak, Selangor.

Among the symptoms of Chikungunya are fever, rashes on the feet, hands and body, body aches or joint pain, headaches and conjunctivitis.

In cases of Zika, Dr Noor Hisham said virus surveillance monitoring by the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) and the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), from Jan 1 to Feb 25, found the test results of over 235 samples of blood and urine were negative.

"Given the transmission of dengue, chikungunya and zika is through the same vector, namely aedes mosquitoes, members of the public are urged to step up prevention efforts, such as cleaning homes, premises and aedes breeding places," said Dr Noor Hisham, adding that immediate treatment is necessary if one experiences symptoms such as rashes and joint pain. -- Bernama