Latest updates on Leptospirosis outbreak in Malaysia;
On June 7th, 2011, the river water at the Penang Botanical Garden has been found to be contaminated with the leptospirosis virus. Timur Laut Environmental Health senior assistant officer Alexander Selvam advised visitors not to bath or play in the river.
Although the area has not been closed to the public, signboard warnings have already been put up. Read more on this latest news from Bernama here.
10/02/2011 – Although there is no more news on this disease (probably due to the upcoming election, Eqypt crisis etc.), necessary precaution is the best way to avoid future outbreak. Stay away from dirty waters, unmanageable waterfalls or picnic centres and clean your legs with antiseptic wash like Dettol soap after wading in flooded areas during the rainy season.
Today, 23th August 2010, the Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has urged all doctors to notify health authorities of suspected cases of leptospirosis or rat urine disease, which has caused the death of 10 people since July, to enable authorities to identify the cause of the spread of leptospirosis for preventive measures to be taken.
Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to water contaminated with urine of infected animals and absorbed through the skin. Rats are the main carriers, and the ministry’s campaign urges people not to dump rubbish near water sources that could attract rats.
The disease has killed 62 people last year, up from 20 in 2004. In the same period, the number of infections rose more than five-fold to more than 1,400 cases, up from 263.
Symptoms are severe muscle pain, fever, vomiting and headache, and leptospirosis is curable if the person is treated within a week.
The latest victim is a 17-year-old youth from Kedah who was infected after visiting the Puncak Janing recreation area. Kedah Health Department director Dr Marzukhi Md Isa said on Sunday, August 22nd, “The youth could have showed symptom of the disease a bit late because the disease can be detected between three days and three weeks.”
The youth from Kampung Rambai in Bukit Raya, Pendang died on Saturday at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.
Several parks throughout the country have been closed since the first deaths were reported last month.
List of recreational lakes and training camps that has been closed or order to cease water activities after reports of death and samples taken from pools there tested positive for leptospirosis are;
- Puncak Janing recreation area
- Bukit Wang recreation area
- Lata Bayu recreation area
- Nilam Ehsan Camp in Bidor
- Taman Kepimpinan Gemilang Camp, Gopeng
- a camp in Kuala Kangsar
- Permai Road recreational lake
- Junaco Park National Service Training Camp
- Tower Road recreational lake
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