Early awareness: A boy looking at the differences between the X-rays of a TB patient and a normal person at the Penang Hospital’s Respiratory Department during the TB and Leprosy Day 2017. (Photo: Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The Malaysian health authorities have raised concerns over a comeback of infectious diseases, such as TB, leptospirosis and rabies, which were once put under control in the country.

According to statistics from the Health Ministry, there were 25,739 cases with TB reported last year, of which 1,945 patients died, a 14.7-percent annual increase, compared to 1,696 deaths recorded among 24,220 TB cases in 2015.

Former director of the Institute of Respiratory Medicine Abdul Razak Muttalif said TB cases dropped from more than 30,000 in 1960 to fewer than 6,000 cases in mid-1980s, but gradually increased again from mid-1990s.

Abdul Razak attributed the comeback to delay in diagnosis and treatment, which has led to disease spreading, adding that more cases are being detected because more people were screened.

In the case of dengue fever, there were 237 fatalities out of 101,357 cases last year, down from 336 deaths out of 120,836 cases in 2015.

Meanwhile, the incidence of leptospirosis steadily increased from 2,268 cases in 2011 to 8,291 in 2015, falling to 5,284 in 2016. -VNA