Friday, May 15, 2009

Malaysia confirms first case of A(H1N1) flu

Malaysia on Friday confirmed its first case of the A(H1N1) flu, a 21-year-old student who recently returned from the United States.

In a statement, Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the young man was hospitalised on Thursday after suffering from fever, sore throat and body aches.

He had returned to Malaysia from the United States on Wednesday.

Tests confirmed that he was infected with the A(H1N1) virus, the statement said. He is receiving anti-viral treatment and is in stable condition, it said.

Ismail said the ministry was in touch with his family members to ensure that he did not infect them, but they have not been placed under quarantine.

He also urged all passengers on the Malaysia Airlines flight from Newark on Wednesday to contact the ministry.

Ismail said the public has no reason to panic as his department was taking steps to protect public health.

Globally, 70 people have died of swine flu, 64 of them in Mexico where the virus originated. Four deaths have been reported in the US, one in Canada and one in Costa Rica.

According to the World Health Organisation, some 6,672 people in 33 countries are confirmed to be suffering from the disease.

The WHO estimates that up to 2 billion doses of swine flu vaccine could be produced every year, though the first batches wouldn't be available for four to six months, AP reported

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that a man from Bukit Mertajam held under observation at the isolation ward of the Penang Hospital has been declared free of Influenza A (H1N1).

"We just got a report that the blood test on the 26-year-old man was negative," State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said when contacted by Bernama Friday.

A test on a sample of his blood had been sent to Kuala Lumpur.

The man was kept for observation Thursday after he was found to have fever and symptoms similar to those of Influenza A (H1N1) on his return from the United States.

Two weeks ago, a New Zealand tourist was admitted to the isolation ward of the hospital for suspected Influenza A (H1N1) but a blood test also showed up negative.

Source : STAR
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