TB ruled out over Orang Asli deaths as more seek treatment

A dwelling at the Orang Asli settlement in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Kelantan Health Department has ruled out tuberculosis (TB) as the cause of death of two Orang Asli for the time being, as more residents from Kuala Koh Gua Musang were taken to health clinics to be treated for cough and fever.

In a statement, Kelantan health director Dr Zaini Hussin said 24 Orang Asli were brought to the Chiku 3 health clinic for treatment yesterday.

Earlier, it was reported that 29 Orang Asli, including three infants, either sought outpatient treatment or were referred to the Gua Musang Hospital and the Kuala Krai Hospital after falling ill.

“Checks revealed that they showed respiratory tract infections and the hospitals are currently doing other tests.

“But the test for TB turned out negative. We are still waiting for the results of the other tests,” Zaini said.

He said the patients were in stable condition and recovering.

Zaini identified pneumonia as the cause of death of two Orang Asli from the settlement.

Last night, police said a 30-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died on Friday due to a viral infection in the lungs and not a “mysterious disease”.

Gua Musang police chief Taufik Maidin also refuted media reports that 13 people had died.

A Malay daily reported that members of the Bateq tribe of the Orang Asli community in Kuala Koh are living in fear after they claimed that 13 residents, including a year-old baby, had died due to illness during the Ramadan month.