PUTRAJAYA: A 45-year-old housewife from Perak became the latest victim of dengue fever on Wednesday, bringing the total of number of deaths this year to 55.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abd Rashid Shirlin said the ministry viewed the fatalities seriously as it showed a marked increase from the 42 deaths recorded over the first four months of 2009.
“The total number of dengue cases this year is lower compared to the same period last year but we have recorded 13 more deaths and this is worrying,” she said, adding that a total of 15,982 dengue fever cases were reported this year compared to 19,947 over the same period last year.
She said among the reasons for the higher number of deaths this year was that many developed complications due to pre-existing conditions like obesity or kidney problems.
Rosnah said Selangor still topped the list with 7,574 dengue fever cases and 27 deaths this year, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with 1,826 cases and four deaths, Sarawak with 1,815 cases and six deaths, and Johor with 962 cases and three deaths.
“States like Kedah, Penang, Perak, Malacca and Kelantan had no deaths in the first four months of last year but have two each this year and Sarawak which also had zero deaths last year has already recorded six this year,” she said.
Rosnah said the ministry was going all out in its efforts to combat the dengue menace, adding that 16,563 volunteers had conducted 661 anti-dengue campaigns so far.