About 1 in 4 people infected with dengue develop mild or severe symptoms when they are ill.
The number of dengue cases in Malaysia has drastically increased this year.
As confirmed by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (KKM), Malaysia already reported 18,247 cases within the five weeks of 2024, an increase of 65.5% compared to the 11,127 cases reported last year.
Whereas in terms of deaths, nine patients reportedly passed away while only six deaths were reported during this time last year.
The cases are currently said to be from 180 areas with 143 in Selangor, 20 in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, seven in Negeri Sembilan, four in Perak, three in Penang, and one each in Pahang, Sabah, and Sarawak.
“During the fifth week of 2024, the total number of dengue cases was 3,969 compared to 3,781 in the previous week. No dengue deaths were reported in the fifth week.
“For chikungunya surveillance, one case was recorded in the fifth week, bringing the total number of cases to three. No chikungunya outbreaks were reported,” said Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan.
That said, Dr Radzi noted that the coming festive season and school holidays could facilitate the transmission of dengue.
Hence, Dr Radzi has emphasised the need to adopt safety measures such as clearing the containers with water, closing all containers that store water tightly, and using insecticides before leaving one’s house.
“Take self-prevention measures, especially if you are in a risk area such as wearing bright colored clothes, using mosquito repellent and covering exposed limbs, especially when you are outside during the peak of Aedes mosquito bites, between 5am and 8am, and from 5 evening to 8pm.”
And if you return from a vacation, he advises you to use an aerosol insecticide spray to kill the mosquitoes throughout the house.
Dr Radzi was not alone in this opinion. His view was indeed echoed by Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar, a health expert.
Since the cases are significantly increasing, Dr Zainal urges everyone to take the necessary preventive measures.
He said with the upcoming hot season and sporadic rains, chances for breeding are high as mosquitoes are more active during hot weather, while ponds or water reservoirs increase breeding potential.
As such, breeding places for mosquitoes must be reduced to diminish the number of adult mosquitoes in an area.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
But how do you know if you have dengue fever or not? Well, here are the symptoms you should look out for;
- Sudden high fever (40°C/104°F)
- Bad headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Muscle and joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swollen glands
- Body rash
These symptoms usually last for 2 – 7 days (febrile phase) and most people would only recover from this after a week.
However, in more severe cases, the symptoms can be more severe;
- Bleeding from the mouth/gums/nose
- Moist sweaty skin
- Internal bleeding leading to vomiting and black stools
- Abdominal pain
- Small spots of blood under the skin
- Weak pulse
What Should You Do If You Have Dengue Symptoms?
According to the recommendations of Gleneagles Hospital, if you experience any symptoms of dengue fever as above, you are advised to see a doctor immediately. If you cannot drive, you can ask a close friend or family member.
After that, the doctor will ask the patient to rest as much as possible and give paracetamol to help reduce the fever and relieve the pain.
Note: Do not take aspirin and ibuprofen.