JOHOR BAHRU: A viral social media message claiming that there is an ongoing tuberculosis outbreak in Johor is fake, the state’s health director said on Thursday (Aug 1).
Dr Selahuddeen Abd Aziz said the message, which was spread via WhatsApp and other social media channels, claimed that there were more than 70 people who tested positive for tuberculosis in several areas around Johor Bahru including Kampung Melayu Majidee Baru and Pandan.
The message also urged the public to stay away from the affected areas in order to avoid getting infected by the airborne disease.
Dr Selahuddeen said that for the period between January and July this year, only 10 cases were reported in the area, and all of them had been treated and were being closely monitored.
“The department also wishes to inform that no statement has been issued by the Johor State Health Department on travel restrictions, including to the areas concerned due to tuberculosis or any other infectious disease,” he said.
Dr Selahuddeen added that the department also advised the public not to spread false information which could lead to confusion and panic.
According to the Malaysian Department of Health, tuberculosis is caused by the pathogenic bacteria Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, which is spread through fluids secreted from the mouth and nose of tuberculosis patients when they cough, talk or sneeze.
Patients who have been diagnosed with tuberculosis should seek immediate and complete tuberculosis treatment as advised by a physician, to avoid the infection from spreading
Tuberculosis is among the list of contagious diseases that must be reported to the health authorities, and is monitored closely by the Department of Health.