H1N1 cases no cause for worry, says Dept
Published on: Saturday, January 11, 2020
By: Ricardo Unto
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Kota Kinabalu: There is no cause for concern even though several cases of Influenza A (H1N1) have been reported, said State Health Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi (pic).

“In 2009, when it was a pandemic, it involved all countries in the world. The people are thinking that the situation now is like in 2009, but it is not,” she told a press conference, here, Friday.

“There is no cause for worry. It is in the environment and it is circulating…and since it is circulating, we have put on a sentinel surveillance system.

“We have two sentinel sites – one in Sandakan and another in Luyang, here, for people with influenza-like illnesses to come in.

“We will also send samples to these two sentinels’ laboratories.”

She also said two hospitals here – the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Women and Children’s Hospital – have been tasked to look into people who come in with severe respiratory illnesses.

“They will send samples to the laboratories to determine the type of virus,” she said.

Recently, it was reported that Federal Territories Puteri Umno Assistant Secretary Nurul Hazwani Haslan @ Awin was admitted to a private hospital after she contracted the H1N1 virus after being on duty at the Membakut Polling District Centre.

It was also reported on Dec 30, 2019 that eight cases of H1N1 among children have been reported by a private hospital, here, since Dec 15.

The patients were aged between one and 12 years, and all have been reported to be stable.

Meanwhile, State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said the death of a three-year-old boy claimed to be due to H1N1 was still under investigation.

The issue went viral when a nursery’s memo mentioning the boy’s death had been widely circulated on social media.

Poon said the boy was treated at the Women and Children’s Hospital on Jan 6 with clinical symptoms of “fever, fatigue, coughing and common cold for three days.”

“The child was earlier treated at a private clinic on Jan 3. However, when he was brought to the Women and Children’s Hospital, he was in a severe condition.

“Clinical sample test to determine the cause of death is still ongoing,” he said.

Earlier, on the shortage of flu vaccines in private health institutions, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said it could be caused by a sudden surge of demand.

“From January to November last year, there was no increase in the demand, but suddenly in December there was an increase in demand.

“The Health Ministry can facilitate, in terms of the vaccine application,” he said.


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