Thursday, July 03, 2014

Task force lists its priorities

PUTRAJAYA: The National Commit-tee on Dengue will meet on July 14 to tackle the current dengue epidemic. One item on the agenda is to get access to neglected buildings that are locked-up.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said such premises com­­prised 30% of the places to be inspected for dengue.
“This will be among the issues raised in the coming meeting,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Noting that 80% of dengue cases were spotted in houses or the surrounding areas, he urged people to clean up their living environment.
The national task force, which will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, includes several ministries – Health, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Go­­vernment, Works and Human Re­­sources.
It will work closely with state governments, local councils and re­­levant agencies to curb the scourge and implement effective preventive measures.
Dr Subramaniam also said that dengue infection was more serious than before with more multi-organ failures such as of the heart and kidneys.
“We are studying to find out if the serotype has changed or if the dengue virus has become more virulent,” he added.
There were 44,518 dengue cases reported this year up to June 28, compared to 12,858 in the same pe­­riod last year, an increase of 246% or 31,000 cases.
There were 85 and 27 deaths for the same period respectively.
Last week, 2,289 dengue cases and three deaths were reported nationwide. The total was an increase of 13% (268 cases) over the week before.
Dr Subramaniam said neighbouring countries were also experiencing a high number of dengue cases, with Singapore reporting 600 cases a week.

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