Tuesday, September 26

State to ask Ministry of Health to probe diseases


KUCHING: The Environment and Public Health Ministry will request the federal Ministry of Health to investigate the melioidosis and leptospirosis cases in Kapit Division.

“As we all know, melioidosis and leptospirosis are no mysterious diseases. They are quite prevalent here and there.

“The state recorded only five deaths this year,” Environment and Public Health Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh told reporters after the Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Wong advised anyone with flu-like symptoms to seek medical treatment immediately as a precautionary step.

“If possible, people should avoid working in muddy conditions or stagnant water and avoid coming into contact with the soil if they have cuts or open wounds,” he said.

On possible research to be conducted on the diseases, he said he would leave it to Ministry of Health.

The two diseases are suspected to be the causes of several mysterious deaths in Bakun and Murum areas, Kapit Division recently.

Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing was recently quoted by the media to have called for foreign medical experts to study the problem there.

According to Masing, who is also Baleh assemblyman, the state Health Department should notify the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States and request experts to visit Kapit.

Masing even pointed out that some senior personnel also avoided visiting the division for fear of contracting the diseases, which he said proved the feeling of panic among the people.