No unusual hike in number of haze-related illnesses

Kuala Lumpur is still reeling from haze despite yesterday’s rain.

BUTTERWORTH: There has been no recorded extraordinary increase in the number of haze-related illnesses, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said.

He said the ministry was monitoring diseases which could result from exposure to the haze, such as asthma, eye and respiratory infections.

“So far, the data shows that there has been no spike in the number of patients with illnesses caused by the haze,” he said after launching a community programme organised by the Bagan parliamentary constituency office here today.

The number of dengue cases in the country this year increased drastically by 81.8% compared with last year, with 93,344 cases recorded from January until Sept 7.

This is an increase of 42,007 cases over the same period last year when there were 51,337 cases, he said.

He added that to date, 137 deaths have been reported, compared with only 81 during the same period last year, showing a 69.1% increase of 56 deaths.

“Monitoring by the ministry found that the incidence and deaths due to dengue fever show a marked increase this year,” Dzulkefly said, adding that a similar trend is seen in neighbouring countries.

Asked about the case of a man, believed to be a doctor, who allegedly attacked his ex-wife and father-in-law, Dzulkefly said it was being investigated. The incident was spread widely over social media.

Earlier, Dzulkefly said the ministry was focusing on spreading information about dengue and non-communicable diseases.

“According to the 2015 National Health and Mobility Survey, one in every two adult Malaysians is obese, one in three has hypertension and one in five is diabetic,” he said.

He added that 50% of diabetes and hypertension cases went undiagnosed, with patients not knowing they had these conditions, or seeking treatment, while continuing with their same unhealthy lifestyle.

“As a result, their condition usually worsens, leading to complications like kidney problems, blindness and increased risk of heart attack,” Dzulkefly said