Thursday, June 22, 2006

50pc jump in dengue cases

NST: SHAH ALAM: The authorities and health officials in Selangor are scrambling to check an upsurge in dengue cases in the wake of the recent heavy rains.
The Menteri Besar is also concerned about the emergence of a new, more virulent strain of dengue.
Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said cases of dengue in at least two municipalities were up by almost 50 per cent in the second week of June.
Fifty cases were detected in Subang Jaya, up from 27 in the first week, while in Shah Alam the number of cases had jumped from 34 to 48.
He said there has been a significant increase in Kajang and other areas as well. Seven people had died of dengue this year.
Khir said a new strain of dengue that attacked the kidneys, liver and heart had surfaced recently and was a serious cause for concern.
Most cases of dengue, he said, occurred in urban areas. "Urban homes usually have potted plants that collect water, as well as water bowls for pets that are not changed regularly."
Khir said the compounds of vacant houses were another breeding ground for the Aedes mosquito, and local authorities were authorised to enter and conduct checks if there was suspicion that mosquitoes were breeding.
"If a new case of dengue is detected, homes in a five-kilometre radius, including vacant properties, may be checked."
Abandoned projects may also be contributing to the outbreak. There were 97 such projects, including 52 housing projects, that would be monitored.
He urged residents to take precautions and work with the local authorities to check the outbreak.

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