Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad has confirmed a malaria outbreak affecting Orang Asli in Pos Lenjang, Kuala Lipis.
In confirming a report earlier today which said that more than 10 Orang Asli were hospitalised after they were suspected of having Plasmodium vivax malaria, Dzulkefly said the malaria outbreak was a mild form and not life-threatening.
All of them are being treated at Hospital Kuala Lipis, he said when met by reporters after opening the 33rd Scientific Meeting of the Malaysian Society of Pharmacology and Physiology 2019 today.
Dzulkefly said the affected Orang Asli were discovered during an active case detection by the Health Ministry on 300 Orang Asli in the settlement on July 12.
On July 11, he said one of the Orang Asli, who came to seek treatment at a rural clinic in Kuala Lipis, was found to be positive for malaria.
Following that, the Health Ministry conducted an active case detection and 10 more Orang Asli were found to be positive with the same form of malaria.
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya professor Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, who was also at the press conference, said there were five types of malaria, and the Plasmodium vivax malaria was the common variety found in Malaysia.
“Often, the patient will recover very quickly after three days of anti-malaria treatment,” she said.
Adeeba said that generally, Plasmodium vivax malaria was not a concern healthwise.
“There is sufficient medicine and anti-malaria drug supply,” she said.
Adeeba added that the country is on its way to eliminating the strain.
"So it is unfortunate that we still have pockets of outbreak. But the country, on the whole, is doing well in terms of eradicating malaria,” she said.