KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 – Two new cases of respiratory infections have been reported in the Orang Asli village of Kuala Koh in Gua Musang, Kelantan, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
Health Ministry Dzulkefly Ahmad said the new cases reported on June 22 and June 23 has brought up the total number of cases of respiratory-related illness in the village to 118 from June 3 to June 23, including 49 confirmed measles cases.
“As of June 23 2019, no new deaths were reported and the total number of deaths reported to MOH remains at three. These three deaths were confirmed to be from measles through lab tests,” Dzulkefly said in a statement yesterday.
“Meanwhile, autopsies have been conducted on 12 bodies that were discovered. Samples have been sent to the lab and tests are currently being done to identify the true cause of death.”
The Amanah leader also said one new suspected measles case was reported among the Orang Asli community in Kampung Gerdong, Hulu Terengganu, bringing up the total number of suspected measles cases to 14, out of which 10 are confirmed.
No new measles cases were detected in Kampung Ulu Sat in Jerantut, Pahang. Eight suspected measles cases were reported in the Orang Asli village up to June 23, out of which four were confirmed.
“All the cases from these two villages had a history of movement or contact with the community from Kuala Koh, Gua Musang. No measles infections involving other villages have been reported,” said Dzulkefly.
He added that health authorities were currently carrying out immunisation programmes against the extremely contagious virus.
The Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Association of Malaysia (FPMPAM) previously warned health authorities against being distracted from investigating other causes of death among the Bateq tribe in Kuala Koh because of the measles “red herring”.
FPMPAM president Dr Steven Chow said authorities have claimed that the first two confirmed deaths of adults in the Bateq tribe resulted from lobar pneumonia, but he pointed out that the usual presentation of measles affecting the lungs was interstitial and not lobar pneumonia.