MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Monday, January 31, 2022

Dengue cases last year lowest in a decade, says health DG


Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the number of deaths due to dengue also dropped to only 20 from 145 in 2020.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded 26,365 dengue cases last year, the lowest in the last 10 years. This was a 70.8% drop compared to 2020 when 90,304 cases were recorded.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the number of deaths due to dengue also dropped significantly last year to only 20 from 145 in 2020.

He said the main factor for the decline had yet to be determined.

“However, dengue remains a public health threat in Malaysia during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement here today in conjunction with the World Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Day, which was celebrated yesterday.

He said based on previous data and trends in dengue fever, the ministry found a high increase in cases every four to five years with the surges recorded in 2010, 2015 and 2019.

“As such, dengue fever cases are expected to increase again in 2024 or 2025, with the incidence expected to be higher than the number of cases recorded in 2019,” he said.

Noor Hisham said the ministry’s efforts were focused on public health measures, especially early detection and vector management, adding that there was still no effective mechanism to overcome the dengue virus.

“Although we currently have dengue vaccine in the market, Malaysia does not meet the criteria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which sets the dengue seroprevalence rate of at least 80% at the age of nine to be considered under the national immunisation programme,” he said.

Seroprevalence is the number of persons in a population who test positive for a specific disease based on serology (blood serum) specimens.

Apart from that, Noor Hisham said there were no domestic tools that are really effective to protect the community during the peak hours when the Aedes mosquito bites, except for mosquito nets and vests.

On future plans, he said the Disease Control Division had collaborated with two international partners to implement the Early Warning, Alert and Response System (EWARS) and dengue forecasting Model Satellite-based System (DMOSS). - FMT

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