Kelantan Health Department director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin (right). - NSTP

KUALA KRAI: Kelantan Health Department today confirmed that eight officers from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and 11 foreigners were diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).

Its director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin said the discovery was made after a medical team conducted check-ups on 45 Vietnam fishermen and 18 MMEA officers who were involved in `Ops Damai' and `Ops Naga Barat' last week.

"Following the medical check-ups, only 19 had the symptoms of URTI. Except for two Vietnam fishermen aged 16 and 17, the others were adults. They were infected by the illness after returning home from the operations," he added.

He said all 19 however only received outpatient treatments at Pasir Puteh hospital.

Dr Zaini added that the department would continue monitoring the situation from time to time, as well as conducting clinical tests to determine the real cause of the illness.

"At the same time, the foreign fishermen at Pengkalan Chepa prison are also ordered to be quarantined," he said.

An upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is an illness caused by an acute infection, which involves the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, sinuses, pharynx, or larynx.

This commonly includes nasal obstruction, sore throat, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, otitis media, and the common cold.