Friday, August 14, 2009

Premature Baby Among 5 Latest Fatal Cases From Influenza A(H1N1)

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- A premature baby was among five who died from Influenza A(H1N1) between Aug 8 and 12, bringing the total number of deaths from the disease to 56.

Director-general of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said in a statement Friday that one died on Aug 8, two on Aug 11 and other two on Aug 12. One of them was obese, one had diabetes, another had diabetes and tuberculosis, and the other two were babies.

He said the premature baby was born at 27 weeks and warded on Aug 3 for fever, cough, a cold and breathing difficulty. The baby was given anti-viral and other treatment but died on Aug 12.

The other baby, two months old, was admitted on Aug 7 as it was weak and pale although it was not having fever, cough or breathing difficulty. However, the baby was placed in the intensive-care unit (ICU) after its condition became critical and died on Aug 8.

Another two cases involved a 49-year-old obese woman who had diabetes and tuberculosis and a 57-year-old man who also had diabetes.

The woman was admitted to hospital on July 29 for fever, cough, sore throat and breathing difficulty. She was treated for pneumonia and discharged on Aug 3 but readmitted four days later for treatment of tuberculosis.

On Aug 8, she was given anti-viral treatment for suspected H1N1 infection but died three days later.

The other two fatal cases were a diabetic man who did not respond to treatment for fever and cough, and a 19-year-old youth who was tested positive for H1N1. They died on Aug 12.

Dr Mohd Ismail said while 70 per cent of fatal cases due to the disease had other health risks, 40 per cent delayed in seeking treatment while in 13 per cent, doctors failed to detect the infection early.

On the current H1N1 situation in the country, he said 72 people were still receiving treatment in the wards and another 27 in the ICUs, with 10 of them having chronic ailments while four were obese.

He said the viral transmission within the community was high, based on the number of people with symptoms going to the hospitals or clinics for treatment.

He advised those with influenza symptoms and had been treated without hospitalisation to take precaution by resting at home.

He said teachers and employers should conduct daily screening of their students/workers to ensure those with symptoms do not remain in class or at the workplace, while parents should not allow their children with influenza-like symptoms to attend class so as to curb the spread of the disease. -- BERNAMA

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