Be on guard against dengue

BUKIT MERTAJAM - THE Penang Health Department is urging the public to help fight and curb the spread of dengue fever during the Hari Raya festive season.

The department distributed 10,000 pamphlets on dengue fever prevention and larvicide to motorists at the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway near here recently.

Seberang Prai Tengah district health officer Dr Rafidah Md Noor said the pamphlets were distributed to the public at the Kubang Semang toll plaza to spread awareness of the dangers of the Aedes mosquitoes and dengue.

She said it was important that people visiting their families during the festive season take preventive measures at home.

"We advise residents to clean up the breeding ground of Aedes mosquitoes and use larvicide to destroy the larvae so that we can curb the spread of dengue.

"The most effective way to prevent dengue is for the people to destroy the mosquitoes' breeding spots every week," she told the media at the toll plaza.

According to the Health Ministry, 14,931 cases of dengue fever were reported nationwide from January until July 23 this year, a 15 per cent increase compared to 12,910 cases reported in the same period last year.

The number of deaths had also gone up from 25 last year to 29 this year during the same period.

So far, Selangor has the most dengue cases at 6,608 with seven deaths.

The other states with high numbers of cases are Johor (2,021), Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (1,176), Perak (1,030), Sarawak (855) and Kelantan (746).

Penang has so far recorded 399 cases with two deaths.