BUKIT MERTAJAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Aedes mosquito has robbed three siblings of their parents, who succumbed to dengue just one day apart. And it very nearly took the lives of one of the three siblings as well.
Form Two student Muhammad Firdaus Azlan, was stricken by dengue along with his father Azlan Mat Din, 50, and his mother Normah Amiruddin, 46.
Mr Azlan succumbed to the virus on Jan 16 while Madam Normah died the following day.
Firdaus, 14, said his father, a factory technician, had a fever for three days and then started vomiting.
By that time, he and his mother were also feverish.
Mr Azlan and his family went to the hospital on Jan 14.
"We went to Seberang Jaya Hospital and my father was warded, but my mother and I were told that we were all right and could go home," said Firdaus.
He said their condition worsened the next day and Madam Normah was admitted to Bukit Mertajam Hospital, and later transferred to Penang General Hospital.
"I was again told to go home, the hospital said I was fine."
His fever did not subside and he went to Seberang Jaya Hospital on Jan 16.
"This time, I was warded and then transferred to the Penang hospital," said Muhammad Firdaus.
On the night of Jan 16, a doctor told him that his father had died.
"The next day, I was told that my mother was gone," he said at his home in Taman Seri Delima, Juru, on Sunday (Jan 22).
Firdaus was discharged from hospital on Jan 20. He has a sister, Nur Hidayah Azlan, 23, a polytechnic student, and a brother, Muhammad Ridzuan Udzham Azlan, 18, who is waiting for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results.
State Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin, who visited them at their home on Sunday, said the deaths were a shock because the area was not classified as a dengue hotspot.
He also said no dengue cases were reported in the neighbourhood in the past five years.
"We don't believe the source is from this area. Azlan could have been infected elsewhere," he said.
Firdaus and his siblings are now under the care of their uncle, Abdul Latif Johor, 58.