KUCHING: Villagers in the Bakun resettlement area are concerned about the possible occurrence of me-lioidosis and leptospirosis, two infectious bacterial diseases, in their area.
Bakun Community Safety Committee chairman Dr Elli Luhat said several “mystery deaths” had occurred in the area recently while a village headman was currently warded at the Bintulu hospital.
“The symptoms appear similar to melioidosis, which is an infectious disease caused by bacteria in contaminated water and soil.
“A few local people have died mysteriously in the past. As for the penghulu, I understand he collapsed last week and was rushed to Bintulu hospital where he is very ill,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Dr Elli added that another disease the villagers suspected of occurring in the area was leptospirosis, or rat urine disease.
“I was made to understand that it could be the cause of several deaths in Bakun,” he said.
Dr Elli appealed to the authorities to identify the cause of the deaths in Bakun and whether there was indeed any occurrence of melioidosis and leptospirosis in the area.
“We are not sure about the diseases, so we want to alert the authorities and call for action,” he said, adding that the mystery illness was a nagging concern faced by the villagers.
Meanwhile, Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said there was no outbreak of melioidosis or leptospirosis in the state.
“Every year we have one or two cases. This is nothing unusual,” he said when contacted, adding that the Health De-partment would look into the matter. Source : The Star Sarawak.