Dengue deaths nearly triple in Malaysia

Dengue deaths nearly triple in Malaysia

A Malaysian Health Department staff member uses a nebuliser to spray insecticide in order to control the mosquito population in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 22. (EPA photo)
A Malaysian Health Department staff member uses a nebuliser to spray insecticide in order to control the mosquito population in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 22. (EPA photo)

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday urged people to take precautions against dengue fever, which has caused 44 deaths in the first five weeks of the year in Malaysia.

"Dengue is now a growing concern in several areas around Malaysia," he said. "I hope you will take precautions as well and immediately seek medical help if you experience symptoms of dengue."

Najib said the government was intensifying its efforts to deal with the mosquito-borne disease, including sanitation awareness campaigns and taking actions against contractors who neglect to clean up their work sites.

Health Ministry director general Noor Hisham bin Abdullah said 44 people died from dengue from Jan 1 to Feb 7, compared with 17 deaths during the same period last year.

A total of 15,039 cases of dengue fever were reported nationwide during the first five weeks of 2015, compared with the 9,453 last year.

Dengue, also known as "break-bone fever," causes internal bleeding, organ impairment, respiratory distress and sometimes death, particularly among infants and the elderly. Symptoms include nausea, headache and severe muscle and joint pain.

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