KOTA KINABALU: Dengue cases in Sabah are increasing at a worrying rate, says state secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong.

With that, he urged Sabahans to take proactive steps to fight the dengue virus that could potentially cause severe health complications and even death.

“The state recorded a cumulative 4,812 cases with five deaths in the 42nd epidemiological week.

“This is over three times the cases in 2021, whereby during this same period last year, we only had 1,336 cases statewide,” he said.

He added that five districts topped the list, namely Sandakan (1,394 cases), Kota Kinabalu (1,155), Tawau (387), Lahad Datu (349) and Putatan (344), as at Oct 22.

A total of 74 localities remain active with the dengue outbreak, and they are divided into 11 hotspots, 11 uncontrolled outbreaks, and 52 with controlled outbreaks.

“This involves seven districts – Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kudat, Penampang and Pitas,” Safar said in a statement yesterday.

He added that the situation was concerning and that everyone, from people on the ground to the authorities, had to work together to fight against dengue.

He said a special task force was formed with a meeting held on Oct 27 to address the issue.

“Everyone is advised to clean their houses and surroundings at least once a week, rid the areas of mosquito breeding grounds, and destroy any potential breeding spots,” said Safar.

He also asked the public to spray aerosol and use mosquito repellents when outside.