EpiCore RFIs: Measles Among Batek Tribe, Malaysia

An article came into the HealthMap system reporting that there had been 14 deaths of unknown origin among an isolated indigenous group in Kelantan state of Malaysia. The deaths were believed to be a result of pneumonia symptoms, but contaminated water source was also suggested. The media report indicated that officials were trying to exhume bodies for testing but that the villagers did not know where they were buried. The RFI was sent on 11 June 2019 at 8:55AM EST.

The first RFI response came on 11 June 2019 at 21:50, and provided an article with updates from the Minister of Health and indicated that more testing was being conducted but an outbreak source/diagnosis was not yet available. The news article reported that 50 members Orang Asli were hospitalized. Officials told the public not to visit the village while the source was being determined. The second RFI response came at 5:15 on 13 June 2019 and provided updates on the total number of people affected. The member reported that 101 villagers were ill, and the death count remained at 14. It was determined that there were no chemical sources of the illness, and infectious etiology was continuing to be determined. This outbreak was verified by the EpiCore system.

Additional Info: A news report came into the HealthMap system on 19 June 2019 confirming the source of the outbreak. “‘Based on lab tests, the illness that struck the Orang Asli in Kampung Kuala Koh was measles,’ Malaysia’s Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said.” 

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