Malaysia's dengue situation 'critical'

KUALA LUMPUR - The health authorities have described Malaysia's dengue situation as "critical", with Johor being the worst affected state with seven deaths recorded in the first six months of the year. Only one person died last year.

Based on statistics released by the National Dengue Operations Room, there were six deaths in Selangor and Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in the same period, according to the New Straits Times daily.

It quoted Health Minister S.Subramaniam as saying that the disease had reached a critical level with 658 cases reported nationwide on a weekly basis.

The number of cases for this year had also increased.

"Since the beginning of the year until June 22, a total of 12,143 cases nationwide have been reported, compared to 11,430 cases in the same period last year, recording an increase of 713 cases or 6.2 per cent," Datuk Seri Subramaniam said. "Eight states showed an increase of cases, with Johor recording the highest increase at 88 per cent. Sarawak has 58 per cent, Sabah 41 per cent, Negri Sembilan 33 per cent, Perak 15 per cent, Kelantan 7 per cent, Perlis 2 per cent and Selangor 1 per cent," Dr Subramaniam said.

He urged the public to ensure that their homes and surrounding neighbourhood were not breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito, which spreads dengue.

"Health enforcement officers will be carrying out checks on homes to ensure that the premises is free of Aedes mosquitoes," he said.

Under the Destruction of Disease Bearing Insects Act 1975, any residential home found with the Aedes larvae will be fined RM100 (S$40) and businesses RM500. Construction and industrial sites can be fined RM1,000 each.

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