Dengue Cases Are On The Rise

Dengue Cases Are On The Rise

The Ministry of Health has released data that revealed a noticeably sharp increase in dengue case trajectories in 2024 compared to the same time last year. According to reporting by the Straits Times, Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan, director-general of health at the ministry, said 18,247 cases were recorded during the first five weeks of 2024, up 65.6 percent compared with the 11,127 cases in the same period in 2023.

The ministry noted that there are around 180 dengue hotspots currently, the majority of which are in Selangor (143); Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya combined have around 20 hotspots. Other hotspots include seven in Negeri Sembilan, four in Perak, three in Penang, and one each in Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak.

Dr Muhammad Radzi mentioned that the total number of dengue cases in the fifth week of 2024 was around 3,969, compared to the 3,781 known cases from the previous week. He also cautioned that the upcoming festive seasons and school holidays could facilitate the spread of dengue via the bite of Aedes mosquitoes.

It was advised that Malaysians make sure that there are no containers holding stagnant water in the house, or to close all containers that store water tightly before leaving home. Use of insecticides was also encouraged.

“Take self-prevention measures, especially if you are in a risk area, such as wearing light-coloured clothes, using mosquito repellent and covering exposed limbs, especially when you are outside during the peak of Aedes mosquito bites, between 5am and 8am, and from 5pm to 8pm. Before entering the house after returning from vacation, use an aerosol insecticide spray all over the house to kill the adult mosquitoes that are hiding,” said Dr Muhammad Radzi.

With the upcoming hot season and sporadic rainfall, chances for mosquitoes to breed will be high as mosquitoes are more active during hot weather, while water ponding or retention increases potential breeding grounds.

According to reporting by The Star, Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the current hot and dry spell, especially in the northern parts of the peninsula, is due to the La Nina phenomenon, which is predicted for February and March.

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