Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 29, 2008

Penans hit by malaria outbreak 18 farmers hospitalised

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 3:57 pm

Star: MIRI: An isolated semi-nomadic Penan community living deep in the interior of northern Sarawak near the Kalimantan border has been hit by malaria.
Medical teams rushed to the Bario highlands to treat the Penan farmers and 18 were flown out on emergency flights to Miri Hospital here, sources told The Star yesterday. The mosquito-borne disease can kill if those affected are not treated quickly.
State Assemblyman for Ba’Kelalan, Nelson Balang Rining, yesterday confirmed that the affected Penans are from his constituency.
“The information I have received so far indicated that these 18 Penans have been hospitalised. There are no fatalities. These Penans are from an isolated territory, not from the main Bario village itself.
“I’m told the health authorities have implemented urgent measures to prevent further infection in the Penan settlement,” he said.
Sarawak’s director for health and medical services department Dr Mohd Kamal Hassan confirmed that the department had initiated anti-malaria operations.
“We are still compiling the figures on how many have been infected. We have already sent our people to the affected areas to contain the situation and to take preventive measures,” he said.
The 18 hospitalised Penans had shown typical malaria symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, chills, nausea and flu.
While there is no known vaccine for malaria, those infected are usually treated with drugs such as quinine.

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