Kuala Lumpur: Five Malaysian states have registered a leap in the number of dengue fever cases in the first week of the year, with authorities fearing that the mosquito-borne// disease could further spread due to the rainy season, reports said Wednesday.
The north-eastern state of Kelantan registered the highest jump, from 18 cases in the last week of December to 32 cases in the first week of January.
The central Selangor state, neighbouring the capital Kuala Lumpur, recorded the highest number of cases at 562, compared to 471 the previous week, the Health Ministry's deputy director-general Ramlee Rahmat was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.
The other three states that recorded an increase were the central state of Pahang, from 35 to 47, the state of Negeri Sembilan, from 20 to 26, and the eastern Sabah state on Borneo island, from nine to 12.
Ramlee said the first week of the year recorded a total of 1,155 suspected dengue cases, an increase of five cases from the week before.
A total of 60 health officials have been deployed in the affected states to help with dengue control operations, which include checks on premises as well as educational talks, he said.
Health officials have warned that the rise in dengue could continue, inspite of efforts by the government to control it, due to the rainy monsoon season.
They have issued warnings to residents to clean their property to be rid of the larvae of the aedes mosquito, which carries the dengue virus.
Symptoms of dengue are high fever and rashes. If not detected and treated early, the disease can be fatal.
Ramlee said that officials have been sent to the southern Johor state, which was hit by massive floods in December, to prevent an outbreak of the disease.
Authorities have warned that the aftermath of the floods, which has been tagged as the worst in a century, could l
ead to a rise in dengue cases as well as an increase in cases of other diseases.
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