Massive 553% jump in KK dengue cases

KOTA KINABALU: The number of dengue cases in Sabah has increased by 190 per cent as of February 21, compared to the corresponding period last year.

A total of 591 dengue cases have been reported in Sabah, an increase of 204 cases from the same period in 2014. Out of this number, two dengue patients have died, one in Kota Kinabalu and the other in Semporna.

According to State Health Director Dr Christina Rundi, the highest number of dengue cases is in Kota Kinabalu and Penampang.

There were 281 cases in Kota Kinabalu, an increase of 238 or 553 per cent from the same period last year, while in Penampang, 89 cases have been reported, which is an increase of 83 cases or 1,383 per cent, from last year’s corresponding period.

“Based on our observation, there will be a continued increase of (dengue) cases in Sabah,” said Rundi in a statement yesterday.

Rundi said in view of this, the State Health Department would be taking proactive steps and conduct operations on a larger scale to tackle dengue outbreak in the state.

These include mainly the Ops Mega Kawalan dan Pencegahan Denggi 1/2015 (Dengue Control and Prevention Mega Operation) in Kota Kinabalu and Penampang.

“Activities included in this operation are not limited to reducing mosquito breeding in the stated areas but also to increase the community’s involvement in efforts to control and prevent dengue.

“We hope that through this operation, we will see a downturn in dengue cases within 30 days, especially in Kota Kinabalu and Penampang,” said Rundi, adding that they also hoped to see improvement in the community’s awareness about dengue, beyond the operation.

The operation involves 150 Health Department officials from various categories from across the state, consisting of 42 control and prevention teams, six teams for entomology (study of insects), four teams to promote health, and an enforcement team.

Activities will include inspection of houses in high-risk localities, demolishing Aedes breeding grounds with the community, fogging, forming of dengue action groups among school children in Kota Kinabalu and Penampang, as well as various collaborations with community leaders, government agencies and NGOs in carrying out specific control activities such as gotong-royong.

Rundi advised the public to play active roles in controlling dengue outbreak by carrying out frequent inspections around their houses and to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, spraying aerosols, cooperate with health officers and to go to the nearest health clinics in case of fever.

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