Dengue fever battle far from over

Dengue fever battle far from over
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

PUTRAJAYA: The number of dengue cases in the Klang Valley has begun to plateau, bringing hope that the disease is waning after it spiked tremendously in the past several months.

But the battle is far from over, warned Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, who said it will take about two weeks to determine if the plateau is permanent or only temporary.

The Government is not reducing its dengue prevention efforts, which was evident in the Cabinet's approval of an additional RM26mil (S$10mil) to be spent on combating dengue nationwide within these two months.

"The funds will be used to increase manpower, hire private companies to assist in mosquito fogging and to supply 100,000 diagnostic kits to private clinics in the Klang Valley.

"The kits are being distributed in stages for free, which means patients can be tested quickly for dengue fever," Dr Subra­maniam said after the Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Kelantan has the highest number of dengue cases in the country for the period Aug 3 to Aug 9, according to Health Ministry statistics where 1,160 cases and five deaths were recorded.

Selangor, which reported 1,042 cases last week, remains the state with the highest number of accumulated dengue cases this year (31,754).

Nationwide, there were 59,790 cases with 123 deaths - a 272 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

"We have noted a worrying increase in dengue cases in certain states (other than Selangor) and I will be travelling to Kelantan on Monday to look into this," Dr Subramaniam said.

On a false report concerning Ebola in Malaysia that was circulated via social media, he said the matter had been reported to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

The bogus posting had appeared on social media sites and claimed that the deadly disease was in the country, with one case detected.

"This was a baseless and irresponsible report.

"I wish to remind people not to play with these kinds of issues because they can cause undue fear and panic among the public."

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