Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A (H1N1): 24-year-old woman is the latest victim


PUTRAJAYA: A 24-year-old woman is the latest victim of the Influenza A (H1N1), bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 71, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican.

Dr Ismail said the woman’s death was confirmed by the mortality review committee Wednesday even though the patient had died on Aug 19.

As of Wednesday morning, 324 new patients were warded in hospitals for influenza-like illness (ILI).

The victim, he said, was an obese woman who had suffered from fever, cough and headache on Aug 8 and was warded in a private hospital in Kuantan on Aug 10.

“She was given viral pneumonitis treatment and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit two days later when her condition worsened. The patient was given anti-viral treatment on the same day (Aug 12),” he said Wednesday.

Dr Ismail said on Aug 17, laboratory test came back positive for A (H1N1) but the patient, whose condition became worse died on Aug 19 and the cause of death was due to H1N1 with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

He said the accumulative figure of those being treated for ILI nationwide was 1,446 adding that the actual number of patients being treated for A (H1N1) totalled 217.

“Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and ministry officials will be having a discussion with private medical practitioners Thursday to discuss on the issue of A (H1N1), the ministry’s guidelines and how they should handle cases.

“We hope to get a good turnout from the doctors so that they can have a frank and open discussion with the minister. Everyone must play their part to prevent the fast spreading of the disease,” he said.

The meeting will be held at 3.30pm at level 4 of the Health Ministry, Block E7, Parcel E in Putrajaya.

Dr Ismail said parents should also limit the number of outings involving children, especially to public and crowded places to prevent them from being exposed to the flu.

“We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for the public to be responsible for their own well-being by practising good personal hygiene and practice social distancing if they are unwell.

“Being smart and responsible will not only help prevent them from the possibility of being infected with A (H1N1) but also reduce the risk of those with co-morbid from falling ill,” he said. - The Star

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