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"DENG GI YANG DAN GER"

Ketua Jabatan Mikrobiologi Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM) Prof Dr Suzaly Abu Bakar antara lain dilaporkan menyebut bahawa " strategi Malaysia dalam menangani masalah denggi selama ini adalah salah " kerana sasaran selama ini hanyalah semata-mata nyamuk. Sebenarnya bukan setakat nyamuk tetapi juga pengesanan virus dalam badan individu yang belum mempunyai simptom perlu dijalankan.

Pada pendapat saya, ada kebenarannya apa yang diperkatakan oleh Prof Suzaly kerana kita harus memerangi wabak denggi ini dari semua sudut, termasuk kajian asas ("basic research"), pendidikan kesihatan serta aspek pencegahan yang merangkumi pelalian serta rawatan yang berkesan. Pendek kata, pendekatan pelbagai bidang dan bersepadu harus difikirkan. Untuk tujuan itu dana dan peruntukan yang diperlukan hendaklah disediakan oleh pihak berwajib.

Race to find why dengue patients are showing 'unusual' symptoms


Researchers are racing against time to find out why some dengue patients are showing unusual severe health symptoms, a microbiologist told theSun.

"The cases are rare but it has been happening. They look like isolated cases and the symptoms are different among such patients," said Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) Microbiology Department head Prof Dr Suzaly Abu Bakar.

Among the "rare" symptoms recorded to date are epilepsy, hepatitis or organ failures.

"We do not know the reasons for such occurrances but medical researches have found that people who have had dengue before are at a higher risk of developing such (life threatening) symptoms," he said.

Suzaly said it may be due to the high virus flow or because of the patients' other underlying illnesses like diabetes, obesity or old age.

"I am not saying all these categories of people will develop the (dengue) virus but they are at a higher risk," he said.

"And for those who have had dengue before, they face a higher risk of severe fever if they catch the virus a second or third time."

"We at the Tropical Infectious Disease Research and Education Centre (in UM) are trying to find out who among the people are prone to develop these severe symptoms," said Suzaly.

He said Brazil had more than one million dengue cases last year but they had very few deaths.
Therefore, he said, research is being conducted to find out whether it is due to Malaysians' genetic factors or other reasons.

Suzaly also explained how early detection of the dengue virus was important because "many cases of people who have had ordinary fever for a day or two may not realise that they are asymptomatic (without symptoms) and the virus is still in their blood.

"Normally, people would do the serology test to check if they have dengue but that test can only be done if one has fever for five days or more. If the virus is still in their blood, they would not know it till the fever becomes severe because they do not have the usual symptoms or are asymptomatic," he stressed.

He advised the public to make efforts to go to reference hospitals like Kuala Lumpur Hospital, UMMC or Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia where the Polymrase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests are conducted for early detection.

Suzaly also pointed out that Malaysia's strategy to check the spread of dengue "has always been wrong".

"The mosquito is the sole target. It's not just the mosquito, but it's about detecting the virus in people who are asymptomatic," he said.

Sun2surf / Karen Arukesamy
21 Jan 2009

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