KUALA LUMPUR – There will be a spike in dengue cases at the end of this year due to the factor of weather and serotype changes of the virus, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam said today.
He said it was predicted that Malaysia would be facing the monsoon season soon followed by serotype changes of the dengue virus.
“The dengue virus has serotype one, two, three and four. Towards the beginning of this year and late last year, there was predominance of serotype Den (Dengue) 2. But we found in the last few months that Den 1 cases were on the rise.
“If there’s a sizeable population in the affected states who were not exposed to Den 1 before and they don’t have the immunity against the virus, then these people are susceptible to get dengue from Den 1.”
Dr Subramaniam told this to reporters after attending the national-level committee meeting on dengue chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at Parliament building, here, today.
He said the ministry believed it could decrease the number of dengue cases if all the parties involved in the task force and committee could reduce the breeding size or density of the aedes mosquito.
He noted that there had been a drop from 3,000 to 2,000 dengue cases per week in most places, especially in Kelantan, Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur of late.
“The drop rate is still not satisfactory. So, fighting dengue should be a sustainable activity.
“As we live in an environment where the aedes mosquito is always there, we want to emphasise on environmental cleanliness to achieve a higher level of success in fighting the menace.
“Hopefully, it will have a direct impact of reducing the number of cases. Our target is 1,500 cases per week, which is closer to our baseline in 2013,” he said.
Asked about the meeting today, Dr Subramaniam said all the parties involved agreed to the setting up of the state-level committee on dengue to be chaired by the menteri besar/chief minister or a state executive council member, for more effective dengue control.
In a media statement, the ministry said there were 84,682 reported dengue cases from Jan 1 to Oct 25, this year compared to 28,207 recorded during the corresponding period last year.
The death toll from dengue recorded nationwide from Jan 1 to Oct 25 was 160, an increase of 167 per cent over the 60 deaths reported during the same period last year. – BERNAMA