KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Measles has claimed the life of a 39-year-old Orang Asli woman in Terengganu, marking the fourth confirmed death from the current epidemic among the indigenous.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the woman died at Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah, Kuala Terengganu, last Sunday after receiving treatment since June 29 at Hospital Hulu Terengganu.
“Unfortunately, on July 7, her condition turned unstable and she suffered breathing difficulties. She was diagnosed with septicaemic shock secondary to right lobar pneumonia and measles with metabolic acidosis, and was referred to Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah,” Dzulkefly said in a statement.
According to the minister, 178 measles cases were confirmed since last June 3 until today, comprising 147 cases in Kelantan, including three deaths; 23 in Terengganu, including the latest death; and eight in Pahang.
Excluding the latest death in Terengganu, 15 Orang Asli from the Bateq tribe in Kampung Kuala Koh in Gua Musang, Kelantan, recently died.
Health authorities said three of the 15 died from measles, while autopsies on the remaining dozen have yet to reveal the cause of death due to the retrieval of incomplete remains.
Dzulkefly said today that the Health Ministry was still awaiting results of toxicology, heavy metals, and entomology tests on the bodies.