Malaysia may impose quarantine after dengue fever outbreak

Dengue mosquitoKuala Lumpur - Malaysia is considering imposing a quarantine in a small northern town in the state of Perak as part of efforts to stem a dengue fever outbreak, a news report said Friday.

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said 175 people in the northern Manjung town were treated for suspected dengue fever from August 18 to October 4 this year, more than double the 77 patients recorded during the same period last year.

A total of four patients have died from the mosquito-borne disease this year, he said.

"We are seriously considering imposing a quarantine," Liow was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times daily.

A ministry official confirmed the comments, but declined to give further details.

Out of the 175 cases, more than half were dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal if not treated early, said Liow.

He said there have been a total of 35,227 dengue cases and 78 deaths nationwide so far this year.

The symptoms of dengue, which is carried by the aedes mosquito, include high fever, rashes, headaches, and muscle and joint pain. If not detected and treated early, the disease can be fatal.

The government has been holding campaigns to educate the public as well as conduct checks for mosquito-breeding sites on residential and construction sites to try to stem dengue cases.

Despite the efforts, the number of cases and deaths continues to rise each year. (dpa)