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General : Ministry Looking At Vaccination In Sarawak To Combat JE – Dr Subramaniam

KUCHING, July 4 (Bernama) — The Health Ministry will study the move by Sarawak on compulsory vaccination of babies aged nine to 21 months as among the measures to control the spread of Japanese encephalitis (JE).

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said Sarawak was the only state which gave the special JE vaccine since 2001 to control the viral infection spread by mosquitoes and its implementation had shown positive results.

“We will look at this perspective (vaccination) before making a decision as JE is an endemic disease in the country. For a start, the fight against JE involves getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds.”

He said this at a news conference after an official visit to the Sarawak General Hospital, here, today.

Also present were state Health Department director Datuk Dr Zulkifli Jantan and hospital director Dr Chin Zin Hing.

Dr Subramaniam also described the vaccination of babies in Sarawak as a logical step, otherwise there would be more cases of JE.

There was a JE outbreak in three states, namely Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor over a period of 35 weeks from the end of 1998 to May 1999 resulting in 105 deaths.

— BERNAMA

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