Rare disease claims its first victim in Selangor

Selangor recorded its first fatality from leptospirosis on Monday after a woman from Pandan Perdana passed away after contracting the rare bacterial infection.

63-year-old Wong Fong Chia was admitted to Hospital Gleneagles on September 16 with fever before she was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit ward as her condition deteriorated.

She succumbed to the disease on September 26.

According to Ampang Jaya Municipal (MPAJ) councillor Sally Sian, the autopsy stated that the cause of the death was an infection from rat urine.

Teratai assemblyperson Janice Lee Ying Ha, Sian and another MPAJ councilor, Dorothy Cheong, today visited the victim’s home.

Lee said the omnipresence of rats and rubbish has made the area vulnerable to leptospirosis.

As such, she urged the residents to wear gloves and shoes when disposing garbage or while gardening.

“The threat of leptospirosis lurks at places where there is a high population of rats,” she said.

While echoing Lee’s statement, Cheong and Sian said MPAJ should take drastic measures against unhygienic food premises.

The rat urine disease was first brought into public attention after six Pahang villagers who went camping at a rural area died after consuming contaminated water.

The health ministry however stressed that the disease is not contagious through human contact.