PETALING JAYA: Three cases of leptospirosis were reported in Kelantan in the aftermath of the floods as threats from water and vector-borne diseases increased, The Star reported.
Health officials have cautioned that muddy waters leave in their wake health threats brought by water and vector-borne diseases that can cause respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis and leptospirosis.
The Star reported that while the Health Department was taking steps to keep the situation under control, three cases of leptospirosis were reported in Kelantan.
The department also raised the alert for diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery, although no statistics were provided.
“These diseases are caused by consuming contaminated water and food, which is why it is important to use potable water for personal hygiene and food preparation,” said Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
A multitude of water-borne diseases brought in by floodwaters, he said, were a result of contamination from broken sewage systems, animal waste and chemical pollution.
However, compared with those after the big floods that swept east coast states in 2014, the number of post-flood disease cases has been significantly lower.
The Star reported there was a drastic reduction in cases such as acute gastroenteritis (AGE), acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) and leptospirosis (rat urine disease) in the recent floods that started in early December.
The number of ARI cases dropped from 8,276 in 2014 to 1,439 in the current period, while there were only 162 cases of AGE this season compared to 1,062 then.
Statistics also showed that there were 379 leptospirosis cases in flood-hit areas during the 2014 disaster while it was only recently confirmed there were three this season. -FMT