PETALING JAYA: Cases of infectious diseases brought about by climate change can be reduced through awareness and education.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai cautioned the public against taking the impact caused by climate change lightly.

He added that a worrisome threat that could emerge during major floods was dengue fever while changes in weather patterns encouraged an increase in mosquito breeding.

“Be cautious about personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness. And please support our recycling campaign and don’t litter,” he said yesterday.

Liow said the Government would continue to educate the public and create awareness on weather changes and the burden it has on humans.

He added that the ministry was working closely with other agencies and it had good networking with other countries to fight communicable diseases.

The Government was also encouraging companies to go green to help ease the global warming problem, he said.

Malaysian Medical Association president Dr David Quek said dengue fever remained the biggest threat to Malaysia when it came to weather-related diseases.

Rain showers in many parts of the country has encouraged the rise of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue and malaria, although malaria was less frequent here, he said.

Dr Quek also warned of water-borne diseases brought on by the recent floods.

“Additionally, with the changing temperature, we will also see a rise in cases of colds and flu,” he said.

Dr Quek advised those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease to get flu vaccinations, which were available at an affordable rate. (By Christina Tan and Lee Yen Mun)


Source: The Star | 09 February 2011

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