PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has recorded 13 confirmed cases of Diphtheria so far, with five fatalities.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malacca had three cases with one death; Kedah six cases with one death, while Sabah had four cases with three deaths.
"All the cases in Sabah are sporadic with no link to each other, whereas the cases in Kedah and Malacca are clustered incidents which happened within families," he said in a statement today.
The two latest cases in Sabah, he said, involved a Malaysian child who had no history of diphtheria immunisation. The child was diagnosed with the disease on June 23 and died of the illness on Monday.
"The second case involved a non-Malaysian child aged five who was diagnosed with diphtheria on Tuesday. The child is currently being treated at the isolation ward and is reportedly stable," Dr Noor Hisham said.
He said health officers at all states have been updated on the diphtheria situation and had increased their surveillance activities.
Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was told by public and private healthcare centres that they had recorded a higher demand for their immunisation services.
"I urge all parents to be committed in ensuring that their children receive their vaccinations according to schedule.
"Those with children aged below seven should keep tabs of their children's immunisation schedule. Any child who misses any of their vaccinations should get their shots at nearby clinics.
"The health officers will issue (parents) a new immunisation schedule (for their children)," he said.