Rubella outbreak in Klang Valley?

An email from CL that there is a rubella outbreak in the Klang Valley which has been blacked out so as not to spoil the Merdeka anniversary celebrations.

Can the authorities in particular the Health Minister and the University of Malaya Vice Chancellor respond?

CL’s email:

There is an outbreak of rubella in the Klang Valley and possibly nationwide as well. Apparently this had been going on for the past two months but the power-that-be has chose to keep the news blacked out because of the impending 50th anniversary Merdeka celebration. The outbreak also occurred in the UM campus and the recently concluded convocation was almost marred. News of the outbreak in the campus only came out lately, in fact only a few days back. It is not immediately known how many students had been infected to date. However, official news of the outbreak has caused anger and anxiety among the “warga kampus”.

Rubella in the adults and adolescents is mild with nothing more than a flu-like illness with fever lasting a few days and associated with muscle aches and joint pains. Its mild nature cannot be said if an expectant mother who has no immunity, contracts rubella in the first 3 months of her pregnancy. The unborn foetus has a high risk of developing various abnormalities : small brain, cataracts, deafness, heart defects, mental retardation, etc.

Because of the non-specific symptoms, most cases of rubella are diagnosed as a viral illness. The rash over the body and enlarged lymph glands behind the ears are typical but can be easily missed if not specifically looked for. The rash is very faint and lasts no more than 48 hours and often missed in the dark skinned. Hence many infected persons are not aware that that they are infected. This is a highly infectious disease and an infected person can transmit the infection (airborne spread) from one week before till at least 4 days after onset of the rash. This implies that by the time the index case is diagnosed, he/she would have transmitted to susceptible persons in contact with him/her. This is the reason why outbreaks usually occur in hostels, schools, army barracks. This was probably what caused the outbreak among UM students staying in the residential colleges.

Events happening over the last two months have indicated that the current outbreak has not been handled in the proper manner. Firstly there is news blackout of the rubella outbreak. This was done so as not to spoil the merdeka celebration. By so doing, pregnant women are been exposed unnecessarily to risk of getting infected and subsequently delivery of an affected baby. Secondly the government, till date has not advised the public who had not have rubella vaccination in the past to go for vaccination. Thirdly during the fasting month there will be lots of mingling of people and those “balik kampung” setting the stage for mass transmission of the illness.

In short the government has attempted to cover up an outbreak of rubella in the country at the expense of risks to unborn foetuses. By not taking quick and proper measures it has allowed the illness to spread to a stage that the government is now in a helpless state.

  1. #1 by shortie kiasu on Saturday, 15 September 2007 - 10:40 am

    It seems the letter comes from UM itself, and why the is it that the source was not informing the relevant authorities if it felt it has information on the outbreak of communicable disease,and reason to believe that there is an outbreak in the campus?

  2. #2 by a-malaysian on Saturday, 15 September 2007 - 11:12 am

    So long as their family members are not infected, they could not careless. Black out the Rubella outbreak to celebrate 50th merdeka or election campaign for umno.

    “Only 14 death for the NS trainees, what is the big deal to them”, “Police shooting live bullet at innocent people, what is the big deal.”

    Death to ordinary people like you and me means nothing to them so long as they are in the comfort zone.

    But I can guanrantee you that it will be big news and head will roll if any of their kind got killed or infected.

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  3. #3 by badak on Saturday, 15 September 2007 - 1:51 pm

    This bunch of bigots,Their Motto “” NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS”” PAK LAH told the press and his people not to hide any thing from him,What bull shit.

    The information minister even told the press to only report feel good news,Anyway what is there to read in our local papers,It,s the same every day

    Page 1 ” What PM said or done “”
    Page 2 ” What DPM said or done””

    The local tv news is nothing but propergander news,Take the BATU BURUK incident,The talk was not even organised by the opposition,But BERSIH an NGO,Are the reporters so stupid ,that they don,t even know the difference between NGO and opposition party.

    BERSIH has been organizing this ceramah all over the country without any problem what so ever,Why now in TERENGGANU,The simple reason is ,Now that the election is round the corner,The police which is under the controL of BN, Have a very good reason not to give any more permit to BERSIH to organize any more ceramah.

  4. #4 by AntiRacialDiscrimination on Saturday, 15 September 2007 - 2:52 pm

    I heard that Chan Kong Choy was infected by Rubella. That’s why he went oversea for treatment.

  5. #5 by malaysia born on Saturday, 15 September 2007 - 3:30 pm

    This is proof itself that the present government does not gives a damm about the people. All they are bother is how to be re-elected to carry on their raping of the country coffers.

    Then again, those in the kampong does not surf the net hence, they will be , as usual, will be ignorant.

    Then there are the would-be tourists. Let everyone be aware that Malaysia is definitely NOT a safe place to visit. Let the whole world be aware that their well-being is does not mean much but rather their tourist dollar is the over-riding concern of the present BN government.

    As for those who had been here and had returned back to their respective countries, your concerns are exactly those that we now share. In conclusion, we had been screwed!

  6. #6 by 4th_wife on Sunday, 16 September 2007 - 1:24 pm

    I can tell you the people running the government has no brain. Take for example the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) trying to have a competition on catching dog and after which they drop the idea because of objection and now they start another new idea with the implant microchips in licensed canines to solve the stray dog problem and to ensure that pet owners are more responsible.

    Will this kind of measure be successful with just one council in the whole of Malaysia doing it? How stupid they are are thinking that this will solve the problem not knowing that they are going to create two or multiple problem if they go ahead.

    Hey little brain, you are just not ready for such high tech measure.

  7. #7 by achmedrauff on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 4:30 pm

    So there is an outbreak. So there are people dying…so they can tear down houses and let families live in makeshift shacks. Why do I sense there is some form of organized execution here?

  8. #8 by extim on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 5:34 pm

    I’m student from UM and indeed a lot of my friends also got infected especially those who stay at residential college…I don’t think they are taking any measures such as quarantine or what-so-ever :(

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