Another rescue op volunteer dies of infection
Sat, Aug 07, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network

KUANTAN, MALAYSIA - A volunteer in the search and rescue operation at Lubuk Yu in Maran in June has become the eighth person to die of complications related to the bacterial infection.

Mohd Faizal Hassan, 40, of Batu Caves, Selangor, died at 4.35pm at Selayang Hospital on Thursday.

He was infected with melioidosis, a water and earth-borne bacteria, and had been warded since July 1.

According to state Local Government, Environment and Health Committee chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun, the cause of death was due to massive cerebral haemorrhage with underlying melioidosis sepsis.

"Mohd Faizal's condition gradually worsened and he also suffered from diabetes.

"His condition became serious on Saturday and he had difficulty breathing," Hoh said here yesterday.

On July 10, the Lubuk Yu picnic area was ordered to close after six people died while 83 people had leptospirosis bacterial infection.

All those infected were believed to have been involved in a search and rescue operation between June 26 and June 30 for a man who had drowned at the waterfall area.

Hoh said similar cases had been reported in Penang where two men have been discharged while one died after being infected with leptospirosis after swimming in Lata Bayu, Baling, Kedah. The place is temporarily closed.

In ALOR SETAR, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said three of the six people admitted to hospitals have been confirmed positive with leptospirosis.

"There are three cases in Yan Hospital with one confirmed positive, two in Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital in Sungai Petani with one positive case, and another one at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar.

"These are isolated cases and we do not know the source of the disease," he told reporters at the state MCA's 33rd annual convention.

He said picnic spots in Kedah that were closed temporarily would only reopen after they were declared free of the disease, referring to those in Puncak Janing (Kuala Nerang), Lata Bayu and Bukit Wang (Kubang Pasu).

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