Monday, August 31, 2009

A (H1N1): Students with flu-like symptoms urged to skip classes


PETALING JAYA: Parents have been warned not to allow children down with flu-like symptoms to attend school when it reopens on Tuesday after a week’s break.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said students with flu-like symptoms or cough must remain at home until they were free of the symptoms.

“Those with symptoms, even though light, can still spread the virus to others. It is feared if it is spread to high risk groups, serious complications and death can occur,” he said in a statement Monday.

He said teachers must ensure that only healthy students attend classes.

He also said sick students should be sent home or to the clinic for treatment to avoid shut down of classes.

“If this is implemented, it will mean that only healthy students will be in class. Parents will be confident of sending their children without symptoms to school.”

As at 9am Monday, there were no A (H1N1)-related deaths recorded by the Health Ministry.

Dr Ismail said there were 99 new patients with influenza-like illness (ILI), who were admitted to the hospital for treatment while 240 cases were discharged, bringing the total of patients with ILI being treated at 98 hospitals to 1,374.

Of the total, he said 286 patients were tested positive for A (H1N1), of which 46 were in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Of the 46 cases, he said 32 of them had risk factors, chronic illness (9), obesity (9), children/babies (6), post-natal/pregnant (3), heart disease (2), asthma (1) and low immunity (2).

Dr Ismail reminded the public especially those with influenza-like symptoms to wear masks in public places and give serious attention to personal hygiene by washing hands after coughing and sneezing.

Aside from that, he said tissues must be used to cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and used tissues must be thrown into the dustbin.

He said those with symptoms must practice social distancing. - The Star

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