Two people have died due to a 'super bug' in Sarawak, but the state exco says there is no cause for alarm.
KUCHING: The Sarawak Health Department today confirmed that two out of the 10 deaths reported at the Sibu Hospital so far this year due to the ‘super bug’ Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) positive cases, were caused by the CRE infection.
State Local Government and Community Development Minister Wong Soon Koh said four CRE cases were still admitted at the hospital, including one patient being warded at the intensive care unit for renal failure while another one had resolved colonisation status.
“There is no such thing as a cover-up as alleged by the opposition, which should have checked with the hospital’s doctors or staff, particularly on an infectious disease like this, that happens not only at Sibu Hospital but also in hospitals throughout the country and other parts of the world.
“So there is no cause for alarm,” he told a news conference at his office here, which was also attended by Sarawak Public Health Assistant Minister Dr Jerip Susil and State Health Director Dr Zulkifli Jantan.
He said up to Wednesday, a total of 38 cases were reported, including 31 confirmed ones, with the ratio of male to female at 1:1.4 and mostly aged 40 and above.
Through active surveillance, it was observed that the cases started to increase from March this year and escalated in May at the hospital, which detected the first case in 2011, he said.
While investigations showed that the cases were mainly confined to two wards of the hospital at present, he said, the infection occurred because of an overuse or inappropriate use of the carbapenem anti-biotics that caused bacteria to be drug resistant over the years.
Meanwhile Dr Zulkifli said 14 fatalities due to Leptospirosis or “rat urine disease” was reported in Sarawak so far this year out of a total 220 cases, an increase from 10 deaths out of 182 cases last year.
Those involved in certain activities or occupations, including farmers and estate workers were mainly susceptible but cases of housewives exposed to contamination were also reported due to the presence of rats in the homes, especially in rural areas and bathing in the rivers, he said.
Kuching and Miri divisions recorded three deaths each with Sarikei (two), Bintulu (two) and one death each reported in Samarahan, Mukah, Sibu, Kapit.