Early last month, it was reported
that there were nearly 1,000 cases of dengue fever cases recorded in Klang since the beginning of the year.
Dengue, a viral infection most commonly transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, is an infection that Malaysians cannot seem to shake off.
Not only is the rising number of cases alarming, the Health Ministry has now noticed the virus shifting towards a riskier form.
In the past, Malaysians were more prone to contracting dengue virus serotype 1 (DEN 1).
However, this year, the ministry is seeing a surge in dengue virus serotype 2 (DEN 2)
, which is said to be the most dangerous form of the four dengue strains
This is worrying because it could mean an increase in the number of dengue cases and mortality rate in the country because Malaysians do not have immunity to the DEN 2
"DEN 2 is more serious – (especially if you were previously infected with dengue)," Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said, as reported by New Straits Times
Across the four serotypes, DEN 1 to DEN 4, one infection does not automatically give long-term or cross-protective immunity against the other serotypes.
Hence why the ministry is now intensifying efforts and emphasising the community's role to prevent this virus from further spreading, including eliminating mosquito breeding sites, fogging, space spraying of insecticide, and more.
Residential communities and organisations can also consider holding mass "Gotong-Royong" campaigns to fight the source of dengue.
So watch out, peeps!