Saturday, August 15, 2009

A(H1N1): Three new deaths bringing total to 59

By NG CHENG YEE

PETALING JAYA: Three more deaths from Influenza A (H1N1) have been reported, bringing the total to 59 and all of them were among the high-risk group, said Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican.

The first was a 22-year-old man, who was obese, and the second one was a 29-year-old man, who suffered from valvular heart disease.

The third fatality was a 44-year-old woman with a history of asthma, who died of pneumonia.

The 22-year-old man died of viral pneumonia while the cause of death for the 29-year-old man was severe bronchopneumonia.

Dr Ismail said members of the public with mild influenza symptoms were still visiting shopping complexes, traveling, working, going to school or taking public transports.

“The ministry found that many of them did not wear masks while those who do wear masks are the healthy ones,” he said.

He urged those with influenza symptoms to stay home until they recovered.

Dr Ismail said antiviral treatment would only be given to three groups - those with influenza-like illness and showed risk factors, those with high fever (more than 38c) for more than two days and those who took the rapid test and were found positive for the virus.

“We want to clarify that the vaccine for Influenza A is still not available yet while the one available in the market is for seasonal flu,” he said. - The Star.

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