First dengue death in singapore in 2016
Research associate Joanne Lim holds a container with a sample at the dengue lab Reuters

Dengue fever is on the rise again in Malaysia, with 2,017 more cases reported between June 26 and July 2 (Week 26). But Zika virus has so far not been reported in the country.

The National Public Health Laboratory and the Institute for Medical Research had tested nearly 507 blood samples until July 2. Health screenings were also organised at several immigration checkpoints in the country. But there were no reports of Zika virus during the exercise.

The Director-General, Health, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, said that until now nine states have recorded a rise in the instance of dengue cases, namely Selangor with the maximum of 1,145 cases, Johor (165), Perak (75), Sarawak (68), Kelantan (51), Kedah (42), Pahang (39), Penang (31) and Perlis (5).

"The cumulative cases of dengue fever from January up to July 2 stood at 57,782 cases compared to 59,365 cases during the corresponding period last year, a decline of 2.7 per cent (1,583 cases)," he told Bernama on Saturday.

Dr. Noor Hisham also said that 10 fatalities related to dengue were reported during the last week.

The total number of localities which are still affected by dengue increased from 647 to 660 for Week 26. But the outbreak hotspots have declined from 74 to 73 areas as compared to the previous week.

Dr. Noor Hisham advised citizens to be alert to signs and symptoms of the disease, such as fever, muscle and joint pain, rashes, pain behind the eyes and headache, as they expect the number of dengue cases to increase after the festive season.

"This includes dengue fever pre-existing signs such as stomach pain, frequent vomiting, restlessnes, feeling weak and bleeding from the gums and nose," he added.

He also warned saying, "If there are such signs and symptoms, get treatment at the nearest clinic or hospital immediately as early detection and treatment can save lives."