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Malaysia: Lots more cases

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  • Malaysia: Lots more cases

    ?Infected foreigner? blamed for fever

    Shahrul Hafeez

    <HR align=center SIZE=1>PANTAI REMIS, PERAK: A foreign "carrier" may have been the culprit behind the Bagan Panchor chikungunya outbreak. More than 200 people from the fishing village near here have tested positive for the rare virus.
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    As there are more than 900 foreign workers in the area, mostly employed by local fishermen, the Ministry of Health is not ruling out the possibility that one of them is the host carrier.

    The first outbreak in Malaysia was at Port Klang in October 1999.

    Chikungunya was first detected in Tanzania in 1952. Internet publications describe it as a relatively rare form of viral fever caused by a virus spread by mosquitoes. The name is derived from the Swahili word meaning "that which bends", a reference to the arthritic condition that develops which leads to a stooped posture.

    Health Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Lee Kam Choon said there could be a link between the virus and the foreign workers, when asked about the massive chikungunya outbreak which hit several islands in the Indian Ocean last year. They, too, had a large number of foreign workers.

    "(While) we are not in position to verity this, we are not ruling out the possibility," he said.

    Resident Lee Sooi Teoh, 43, who is just recovering from a month-long infection, said the virus must have originated from somewhere else, although he conceded that mosquitoes bred easily in the rubbish-clogged village.

    "We have been here for about 100 years and the problem of rubbish is nothing new. So why did the outbreak occur now?" said the prawn breeder.

    Of those who tested positive for the virus, just five were hospitalised.

    The outbreak has put the spotlight on conditions in the fishing village, located in no-man?s land just outside the jurisdiction of the Manjung and Taiping municipal councils. Their workers are cleaning up the village, which has no proper rubbish collection system.

    To have it, State Urban and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Chang Ko Youn said residents must place their village under the purview of a local authority.

    "But they must be prepared to pay assessment charges, unlike now, when they do not pay anything," he said after a visit to the village yesterday.

  • #2
    Re: Malaysia: Lots more cases

    1) The virus can no longer be considered rare.
    2) The virus exploded in the Indian Ocean Islands this year, not last year.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. This is a pandemic.


    • #3
      Re: Malaysia: Lots more cases

      More than 200 Malaysian villagers hit by mosquito-borne virus
      Apr 4, 2006, 1:57 GMT
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      Kuala Lumpur - More than 200 Malaysians from a tiny coastal village in the northern Perak state have been hit by a sudden outbreak of a rare mosquito-borne disease, health officials and local media said Tuesday.

      More than 200 people have been diagnosed, and seven people have been hospitalized since the chikungunya disease, a form of viral fever spread by mosquito bites, was first detected two weeks ago in the village, said health officials.

      Health Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Lee Kah Choon said the virus was believed to have been carried from immigrant workers.

      'We do not discount the fact that immigrants working in the village were infected with the virus,' Lee was quoted as saying by the Star daily.

      Symptoms of chikungunya, which is not considered to be fatal, include high fever, rashes on the limbs and trunk of the body, and arthritis affecting multiple joints.

      Lee said the government would continue to carry out chemical fogging in the village to kill mosquitoes.

      The last known outbreak of the disease in the country was in 1999, when 27 people were infected in the central Selangor state, the Star said.