Melioidosis Case Keeps Sabah Authorities On Their Toes

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Melioidosis Case Keeps Sabah Authorities On Their Toes

13-Apr-2024
By Nick Dorian

Sabah Health Authorities are now keeping a close eye on a potential outbreak of the deadly disease of Melioidosis, more commonly known as Whitmore's Disease, after a confirmed case of the infection was discovered at the Tanjung Ara Rugby field near Kota Kinabalu.


With a multitude of symptoms including fevers, loss of appetite, fatigue and fever, Melioidosis is usually caused by an infection with the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is commonly found within water surfaces and soil. 

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Sabah Health Director Datuk Dr Asits Sana stated that the case was brought to attention on the 11th of March when an individual playing at a rugby session, sought medical attention after wounding himself at the game. 


After the report, soil samples of the rugby field were immediately taken for analysis, with one of the samples testing postive for the bacterium pseudomallei, which is the agent that causes the melioidosis, he shared in a statement today. 


"The patient disclosed that he was suffering a leg injury while playing rugby, and we believe that may have caused the infection" he said.


The decision to make this information public was made by The Sabah Health Department after a social media post went viral, announcing that the field had been shut down to prevent further spreading of the infectious disease. 


At the current moment, 44 cases of melioidosis have been reported in Sabah this year, making the total sum of cases increase 12.8% from its previous number in 2023. 

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"Sandakan tops the list of the most recorded cases with 12 incidences, followed by Kota Kinabalu (11), five each in Papar and Penampang, and two each in Sipitang and Keningau," 


"Those suffering chronic diseases such as diabetes, thalassemia, cancer, liver, kidney, or other low body immunity illnesses have a higher risk of getting sick,", Dr. Asits advised. 


"For now, avoid exposure to contaminated soil and water sources, especially those with wounds on the skin, or chronic disease sufferers.


"Those who work involving contaminated soil and water resources should use waterproof shoes, gloves and face masks. If there are wounds on the body, wash and cover it perfectly,"


In the meantime, the health department will continue to keep the public aware and educated about the disease as well as monitor cases in the hopes that they will subside. 


(Source : The Vibes , The Star)

Tanjung Ara Kota Kinabalu Melioidosis Sabah Health Authorities Datuk Dr Asits Sana Rugby sabah


Nick Dorian

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