The cumulative number of dengue fever cases reported in 2022 saw an increase of 150.7 per cent or 39,737 cases to a total of 66,102 cases from only 26,365 cases reported in 2021.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cumulative number of deaths due to dengue complications reported in 2022 was 56 compared to 20 in 2021, which is an increase of 180 per cent.
“The increase in the number of cases and death due to dengue should be given serious attention by all parties. Combating dengue is everyone’s responsibility,” he said in a statement here today.
Dr Noor Hisham said preventive measures are necessary to ensure that dengue fever incidents can be prevented.
In this context, he said that spraying mosquito repellent will not solve the dengue problem if the mosquito breeding sites were not eliminated.
Dr Noor Hisham said among the factors for the increase in dengue cases was the movement of people after all sectors were fully opened post-Covid-19 pandemic.
Asymptomatic dengue patients who visited new places will bring with them the dengue viruses which are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species, he said.
Other factors are the change in the serotype of dengue to DEN 4 in most states as well as the habit of people in some communities who do not dispose of waste properly, hence contributing to the creation of Aedes breeding grounds.
“Weather, temperature and flood disasters can also affect the development of mosquito and larvae which cause the population of Aedes to increase and subsequently spread the dengue virus,” he said.
In a bid to reduce the incidence of dengue cases and epidemics, Dr Noor Hisham advised the states that have been hit by floods, such as Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perlis, Perak, Kedah, Sabah and Sarawak, to start cleaning up piles of garbage and waste within a week after the floods recede so as to prevent the flood-hit areas from becoming breeding grounds for Aedes.
He also reminded all residents to find and destroy Aedes breeding places in their respective residential areas every week and use the larvicides in places that have the potential to become breeding grounds for Aedes such as toilet pumps, decorative ponds and water fountains.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said Chikungunya surveillance recorded a total of 13 cases during the 52nd epidemiology week with eight cases from Penang, four cases from Selangor and one case each from the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
The cumulative number of Chikungunya cases reported in 2022 was 814, quite a significant drop from the 1,432 cases reported throughout 2021.
For Zika surveillance throughout 2022, he said a total of 2,238 blood samples and 18 urine samples were tested for Zika and all the results came back negative, he added.