More than 100 participants, including medical students, attended the ‘Seminar on Recent Advances In Dengue And Zoonotic Diseases’ (diseases that spread between animals and humans), organised by the Faculty of Medicine, University Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine, Perak, which was held at Tower Regency Hotel recently. Professor Dr B. Chinniah, Organising Chairman, said that this theme was chosen to reduce the prevalence of the scourge of dengue and zoonotic diseases that affect all mankind. In conjunction with prevention, appropriate screening and early detection can help in reducing mortality and morbidity associated with these diseases.
Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, Chairman State Health Committee, who officially opened the seminar said that the two diseases being discussed are causing significant threat, not only to public health, but also to the economy as a whole. The first documented major outbreak of dengue in the country occurred in Penang in 1962. As of June this year 53,246 cases were reported with 147 deaths compared to 1792 cases within the same period in 2013. The number of deaths has increased from five deaths in 2013 to 147 deaths in 2014. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 50 to 100 million dengue infections occur yearly, causing 22,000 deaths. The best way to reduce mosquitoes is to clear away the places where mosquitoes lay eggs. Aedes aegypti breeds primarily in man-made containers like earthenware jars, flower pots and animal water containers. A large part of the efforts to control or eliminate the menace of dengue lies with the community. Malaysia is still safe from the Ebola Virus with no cases reported as yet.
Some of the important topics discussed were ‘Improvement in Early detection of Dengue’; ‘Role of Dengue Vaccination’; ‘Why is it difficult to develop a dengue vaccination?’ and ‘Zoonotic diseases from zoo animals to humans’.