Malaysian states record rise in dengue cases

Malaysian states record rise in dengue cases Kuala Lumpur - Eight of Malaysia's 13 states have recorded an increase in the number of dengue fever cases in the past week, health officials said Thursday.

The eight states - consisting of the southern states of Johor and Malacca; the northern states of Terengganu and Kelantan; the central states of Putrajaya, Selangor and Pahang; and Sarawak state on Borneo -made up 74 per cent of the total 1,014 cases recorded nationwide from August 25 through Sunday, said the Health Ministry's disease control director Hasan Abdul Rahman.

The total number of cases recorded this year was 30,956 with 71 deaths, Hasan was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.

Last year, 35,164 dengue cases with 74 deaths were recorded from January to August.

Hasan said that while the level of public awareness of the disease was high, 32 per cent of patients sought treatment within three days of exhibiting dengue fever symptoms, a percentage he described as low.

"This is why the majority of the cases are detected late, and they are the cause of the spread of the disease to others," he said.

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)