Monday, February 17

Health Dept notes slight rise in dengue cases across state

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SIBU: The state has recorded a slight increase in dengue cases, based on year-to-date comparisons between this year and the last.

The state Health Department said this year, there were 1,592 cases registered up to Oct 18 – an increase of 5.3 per cent from 1,512 cases in the same period last year.

State Health Department director Datu Dr Zulkifli Jantan reminded members of the public to remain vigilant, advising them to maintain the cleanliness of the compound around their premises as a way to keep Aedes mosquitoes away.

“There is no significant spike (in cases) for the same period, but this is expected to occur towards the year-end,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday when asked on dengue cases in the state.

However, he observed that cumulative cases recorded here between January and September this year were still the highest among all divisions across the state.

“Weekly reported cases seemed to show declines at first, but it rose again over the past three weeks.The cumulative cases in Sibu for this year are higher at 907, versus 647 last year,” Dr Zulkifli said.

Adding on, he said the department was continuously beefing up its campaigns to eradicate Aedes mosquitoes.

“We have also stepped up activities aimed at preventing the expected increase of (dengue) cases by the end of the year.” Under the Destruction of Disease Bearing Insect Act 1975, an individual whose house has been found to contain Aedes larvae could face a RM500 compound.

On this, Dr Zulkifli said so far a total of 253 compounds amounting to RM110,000 had been issued to owners of premises found to have become a breeding ground of Aedes mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, he said the state had set up a special taskforce to tackle the disease, with each divisional unit to be headed by respective resident’s office.

“In rural longhouses and villages, their JKKKs (village development and security committees) will lead the fight against dengue.” Moreover, he urged all to continue practising preventive measures to keep dengue at bay.

“It is advisable that everyone spends 10 minutes every week to clean their compound, check for possible Aedes breeding grounds and destroy them. It is vital for those who exhibit obvious symptoms such as high fever, headache, gastric pains, muscle pains and sometimes rashes, to seek immediate medical attention,” Dr Zulkifli said.

Last week, Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) conducted a ‘gotong-royong’ (work party) at Bandong Road here under an anti-dengue cleanliness campaign, held in collaboration with the divisional Health Office.

According to organising chairman Councillor Abang Iskandar Abang Latip, the programme was initiated following reports of dengue there.

“We urge the folk here to keep their compound clean. All unwanted receptacles that could collect water should be properly disposed of as they could become potential breeding ground for Aedes (mosquitoes),” he said.