Mosquito borne diseases are taking a significant role in the health of Malaysians as some 200 additional dengue fever cases are reported on a daily basis and two out of three cases of malaria in the country are derived from monkeys, according to health officials.
As of Friday, the Malaysia Health Ministry has reported 45,284 dengue fever cases in 2015. Of that total, 136 fatalities ( as of May 16) due to the virus have been documented.
In addition, just six months after we reported that 68 percent of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysia were due to infection with Plasmodium knowlesi, health officials report sixty-six per cent or 2,584 out of 3,923 malaria cases reported in the country last year derived from monkey (zoonotic) malaria.
And that trend continues into 2015 according to Head of Health Ministry’s Vector-Borne Disease Sector Dr Rose Nani Mudin. She said in the first quarter of this year, 356 cases, or 67.6 per cent of the 527 cases of malaria were detected to be derived from monkeys.
The good news is the total malaria burden in the country has dropped significantly in recent decades, from the 10s of thousands in the 1990s to just under 4,000 last year.
Plasmodium knowlesi, “the fifth human malaria”, is mostly found is mostly found in South East Asian countries particularly in Borneo, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.