PETALING JAYA - Three cases of meningococcal meningitis from the Jalan Ayer Molek detention centre in Johor Baru have been confirmed, including the one reported on Friday.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the cases were confirmed yesterday morning and the patients were being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU).
"The detainees are given treatment and their conditions are stable," he said in a press conference after launching the "You're somebody's type" blood donation drive yesterday.
He also said that the rest of the cases with general symptoms had not been confirmed.
On Friday, one confirmed case, a 43-year-old Malaysian Chinese detainee, was admitted to the Johor Baru Sultanah Aminah Hospital ICU for treatment.
Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis and infects the membranes that cover the brain.
It can be fatal or cause great harm if not given fast treatment.
Among the symptoms are tightness in the neck area, fever, sensitivity to light, confusion, headache and vomiting.
The infection can be passed from a carrier to another individual via droplets through coughs or sneezes.
At the event, Dr Hilmi also said that only 2.5 per cent of Malaysians donated blood and urged more to donate.
He said that in Sweden, 10 per cent of the population donated blood while in Britain it was 5 per cent.
He said that people should not believe in false myths such as donating blood would affect their health or cause them to put on weight.
He urged the young to step forward to donate blood as they make up the biggest population in the country.
National Blood Centre deputy director 1 Datuk Dr Faraizah Abd Karim said that 1.4 million units of blood were needed a year.