Thursday, September 3, 2009

A(H1N1): Death toll now at 73


PUTRAJAYA: Health authorities have confirmed another death due to Influenza A (H1N1), this time involving a victim who was not in the high risk category, with the death toll now at 73.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the 25-year-old woman from Betong, Sarawak was admitted to the district hospital on Aug 30 for fever, cough and sore throat and had previously sought treatment for a similar illness from the same hospital.

“On Aug 31, she was referred to the Sibu Hospital for further treatment where anti-viral treatment was given. She however died the next day (Sept 1) due to severe pneumonia with H1N1 infection,” he said on Thursday.

He added that laboratory test results confirmed that the victim had been infected with A(H1N1).

Dr Ismail said that in the past 24 hours, 266 new patients with influenza-like illness had been admitted to hospitals while 293 patients were discharged.

There are currenly 1,211 patients being treated in hospitals nationwide, including 11 private hospitals, and only 230 are confirmed A(H1N1) patients.

Dr Ismail said there were 41 cases in intensive care units, including five new admissions.

He said the ministry observed there were still many who had cough, sore throat and even fever who continue to frequent public places when they should remain indoors to prevent others from getting ill.

“They should only go out if necessary and not to go shopping or patronising entertainment outlets and attending gatherings. Even when it is crucial for them to leave the house, they must put on the face masks.

“It seems that many are still not aware how the virus spreads, which is through fluids when talking, coughing or sneezing. The public should also keep their distance from people who are ill apart,” he said,

Dr Ismail said public co-operation was needed to prevent the disease from spreading further. - The Star

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