KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu has officially declared it is hit by a dengue outbreak.
State Health Department director Dr Mohammad Omar said an outbreak had to be declared as three dengue deaths had been reported in the first 11 days of the year.
He said an exceptionally high number of dengue cases and dengue deaths were reported lately as the rainy season was coming to an end, followed by the hot season which offered ideal conditions for mosquito-breeding, particularly for the Aedes mosquito.
“As the Aedes mosquito population multiplies rapidly, an average of 30 dengue cases are being reported weekly in the state.
“Imagine three deaths caused by dengue fever were reported so far this year, all in Kuala Terengganu. For the first time in history, we are hit by a dengue outbreak,” he said when met yesterday.
Dengue fever claimed its third victim in the state this year following the death of a 12-year-old girl on Monday.
The other two deaths involved a 65-year-old man on Jan 2 and a 49-year-old woman on Jan 9.
It was reported that five people in the state died from dengue fever last year, compared with only two in 2014.
A total of 1,416 dengue cases were reported in the state last year. Of the total, 25 were haemorrhagic cases. In 2014, 1,653 cases were reported, 75 of which were haemorrhagic cases.
Dr Omar said the presence of trapped rainwater in garbage sites or discarded containers offered a conducive breeding ground for the vector.
“It is hard for mosquitos to breed during the rainy season due to the constant flow of rainwater which flushes away mosquito larvae.
“Things are different immediately after the rainy season.
“Any rainwater trapped in discarded containers or polystyrene boxes are easy target for mosquito breeding,” he said, adding that mosquitoes only required five millimetre of rainwater to breed.
Dr Omar said everyone should play their role in keeping the state clean and mosquito free.