More than 79,000 people have been infected with dengue in 2020.
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As the nation faces the 3rd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Health Ministry (MOH) reminds Malaysians of another deadly outbreak that’s crashing our shores – dengue fever.
Since the start of 2020, 128 people across the country have died from dengue fever, with the most recent fatalities reported in Melaka, Pahang and Selangor.
And as of October, more than 79,000 people have been infected with the mosquito-borne disease.
MOH also pointed out 27 current dengue hotspots in Malaysia, with the majority of cases occurring in Selangor followed by Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang.
In June, MOH warned of an impending 2nd wave of dengue with cases increasing by an average of 8% in just six weeks.
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had hypothesised that this outbreak may be due to the Aedes mosquito having proliferated during the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) period as business and services grind to a halt, leaving more areas for them to breed.
This theory is shared by experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) stating that outbreaks of dengue fever in Southeast Asia may have increased due to Covid-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
But, just like the Covid-19 pandemic, MOH advised Malaysians that dengue fever is preventable through proactive measures like staying indoors when mosquitoes are known to be most active, as well as using anti-mosquito protection such as repellants and sleeping nets.
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