Japanese Encephalitis cases in Malaysia

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said there has been a total of 16 Japanese Encephalitis cases this year. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/images/sized/ez/s-subramaniam1-020713_620_411_100.jpg

Our neighboring country, Malaysia, had reported a total of 16 Japanese Encephalitis cases including 4 death, since January up till 30th June 2014. Out of the 16 cases, 8 cases occurred in Sarawak, 4 in Sabah, 2 in Penang and 1 each in Selangor and Kelantan. Of the 4 deaths, 2 were in Sabah and 1 each from Selangor and Kelantan.

On 27th June 2014, a Japanese Encephalitis case was reported from a private hospital in Penang involving a 12-year-old boy. The boy, from Kedah, was studying in a school in Tasek Gelugor and is believed to have caught the disease during a camping exercise in school between April 24 and 26. The school is located at Kampung Selamat, where there is a large number of abattoirs and pig farms.

The boy first received medical treatment for headache, nausea and vomiting, at two private clinics on May 16 before he was warded in a government hospital on May 18 for suspected meningitis.

On May 21, the boy’s condition worsened and he had to be intubated to assist in his breathing and on the same day, he was transferred to a private hospital in Bayan Baru, Penang for further treatment. He was discharged on June 17, however he was unable to talk or walk due to the infection and on June 26, he was warded into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The release of his blood test results on June 27 confirmed that the boy had Japanese encephalitis

The Health Department of the two states, conducted an investigations into the case especially around the boy’s school in north Seberang Perai and his house in Padang Serai, Kedah. Some of the protective measures include testing other residents and students for Japanese Encephalitis symptoms and conducting fogging to destroy mosquito breeding sites.

The virus has a five to 15 days incubation period, a large portion of the infection are asymptomatic and the possibility of contracting encephalitis is one out of 250 cases.

Symptoms of the virus infection include headache, fever, nausea and vomiting.

The symptoms of Japanese encephalitis may appear to be from a normal flu but please do not take it lightly especially if you have traveled overseas in the last 15 days prior to the symptoms.

Date: 2014, June 30
Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/health-ministry-says-16-japanese-encephalitis-cases-since-january
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