Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai

KUALA LUMPUR — Leptospirosis, or commonly known as the rat urine disease, will be categorised as a notifiable disease, making it compulsory to report all such cases to the Health Ministry, minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

This was to facilitate the monitoring of the disease’s prevalence in the country, he said, adding that he would soon instruct the health director-general to issue the related notification.

There may be leptospirosis cases somewhere but we don’t know the actual situation because at the moment, there is no requirement to report such cases,” he told reporters after opening the Capital Yap Ah Loy Seminar, here Saturday.

The move was taken following the death of eight people believed to be due to melioidosis and leptospirosis infections after taking part in a search operation for a man who was drowned in Lubuk Yu, Maran, Pahang.

Another death was recorded due to bacterial infection involving a man who had gone for picnic at Lata Bayu, Baling, Kedah.

Liow also instructed all district health officers to monitor conditions at recreational areas and urged the public to maintain hygiene at all picnic spots to contain the spread of the disease.

However, the public should not be unduly alarmed, he said, because the situation was under control.

“In Kedah, for instance, there are dozens of leptospirosis cases every year but patients managed to recover from the infection,” he said.

The public should assist in the ministry’s effort to eradicate the disease, he said.

The one-day seminar was organised by the Federation of Nanyang Associations Malaysia in honour of the founder of Kuala Lumpur.