50 percent rise in dengue deaths in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 6 (IANS) The Malaysian health ministry on Wednesday announced that there was more than a 50 percent jump in the number of deaths caused by dengue in 2015 compared to 2014.

According to the ministry, 2015 had the highest number of dengue deaths ever recorded in the country, The Malaysian Star reported.

A total of 336 people – an average of 28 a month – died from dengue last year compared to 215 in 2014, a rise of 56.3 percent.

There was also an increase of 11.2 percent in the number of dengue cases throughout last year, up from 108,698 in 2014 to 120,836 cases.

The ministry is now cautioning people to brace for an equally bad, if not worse, year ahead.

The ministry’s Vector Borne Disease Sector (Disease Control Division) head Rose Nani Mudin said the upward trend of dengue cases recorded in the country, corresponded with the rest of the world.

“World Health Organisation’s (WHO) data also showed the number of cases increasing each year globally,” Rose said.

The ministry’s data also showed there were 145 dengue hotspots in the country, with Selangor having the highest number of hotspots at 107.

Other hotspots are in Johor (23), Perak (nine), and Penang (three), while Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan and Sabah have one each.

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