Thursday, September 17, 2009

Malls can play their part to contain flu virus

KUALA LUMPUR: Hypermarkets and shopping complex managements should have preventive measures to prevent the spread of Influenza A(H1N1).

These measures include having hand-washing facilities, a clean environment and sufficient places to throw garbage and masks, health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said.

He said while Muslims were busy make preparations for Hari Raya, the ministry wanted to advise people to practise self-hygiene, not to be indifferent and to seek immediate treatment if they have Influenza A(H1N1).

“People are encouraged to have with them the H1N1 kit (nose and mouth mask, tissues and sanitiser) wherever they go — while shopping, on public transportation or celebrating at homes of relatives and friends — and also to keep up-to-date on the latest developments about the Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic and steps suggested by the ministry from time to time,” he said.

Two new deaths were reported yesterday due to Influenza A(H1N1), bringing the number of deaths to 76.

Ismail said the victims were a 45-year-old woman from Sabah, who had high fever, and a 19-year-old girl from Bentong, Pahang.

The first death occurred on Aug 26 and was reported to the ministry on Sept 10 — the woman was admitted to the Tambunan Hospital on Aug 17 for fever, cough and flu for three days, and referred to the Keningau Hospital for intensive treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) and anti-viral treatment was started.

“However, she died after 10 days due to complications of influenza and the death was recorded as ‘severe bronchopneumonia with Acute Respiratory Distress Syn-drome’ and the case was confirmed to be H1N1 on Aug 19,” Dr Mohd Ismail said in a statement here.

He said the second victim was admitted to the Bentong Hospital on Aug 30 for cough for five days and fever for a day and anti-viral treatment was started the same day.

Before that, he said, the victim had out-patient treatment for symptoms of cough without fever on Aug 16 and on Aug 31 had breathing difficulties and was referred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital’s ICU.

“However, the girl died on Sept 1 due to ‘severe pneumonia with H1N1 infection’ and the case was confirmed through laboratory tests on Sept 3,” he said.

Meanwhile, 156 new patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) were admitted to hospitals yesterday for treatment while 189 cases were discharged.

“This makes the remaining ILI cases number 881 being treated in 98 hospitals including 11 private hospitals. Of this number, only 141 patients were confirmed positive for H1N1,” he said.

Dr Mohd Ismail said of the 141 H1N1 cases, 37 were in ICU, four were new admittances and four had left the ICU. “Of the 37 cases in ICU, 28 had high-risk factors: chronic illness (nine), respiratory illness (three), obesity (six), children below the age of five (eight) and pregnancy (two),” he said.

In Karak, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the first batch of the Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine to Malaysia would be arriving next month while another 400,000 doses would arive in early January.

The first shipment of 14,000 doses of vaccine would be distributed to front-liners and high risk group, he added. - The Star

No comments:

Post a Comment