During the 44 day period from Jan. 4 to Feb. 16, 2015, Malaysia has recorded nearly 20,000 dengue fever cases, or an average of more than 439 cases daily.
Of the 19,349 reported dengue cases this year, about 58 percent or 11,167 cases were reported from Selangor alone.
The dengue fever fatality count remains at 44 from January 1 to February 7. This compares to 17 dengue related deaths during the same period in 2014.
The increase in cases and deaths has prompted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday to urge people to take precautions against dengue fever.
“Dengue is now a growing concern in several areas around Malaysia,” he said. “I hope you will take precautions as well and immediately seek medical help if you experience symptoms of dengue.”
Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.
People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.
There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).