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A(H1N1) still active

KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Nov 2009: The influenza A(H1N1) is still active in the community even though monitoring activities have found no abnormality, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said today.

He said even the surveillance conducted at 619 clinics nationwide did not record any increase in influenza-like-illness (ILI) cases.

The death toll due to H1N1 has remained at 77 with no death reported last week.

Nevertheless, Dr Mohd Ismail said 255 new ILI patients were admitted to hospitals, while 213 were discharged.

As of 30 Oct, there were 446 ILI patients receiving treatment at 49 hospitals nationwide, including two in private hospitals.

“Of the total, only 11 patients or 3% were tested positive for H1N1,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Mohd Ismail said there was one cluster of ILI cases reported at Sekolah Menengah Agama Mahmudiah, Hulu Terengganu last week.

However, laboratory tests found that the random samples taken at the school were not influenza A(H1N1) infections.

Globally, he said, over 440,000 confirmed cases of H1N1 had been reported, with 5,700 deaths as of 24 Oct.

He said the H1N1 was still active and had shown an increasing trend in countries in the Northern Hemisphere like North America, Canada, Western Europe and East Asia.

In Southern Hemisphere countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Asia, the cases showed an obvious declining trend, he added.

Surveillance team in every state

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai also announced today that A(H1N1) surveillance teams have been set up in every state to prevent the outbreak of a second wave of the virus.

He said the teams, which would be under the Disease Control Division, would monitor the situation every day for early detection of any outbreak of the pandemic.

Speaking to reporters after launching his ministry’s Innovation Day today, Liow said the number of H1N1 cases have reduced tremendously from between 400 and 500 cases a day to between 20 and 30 cases.

“On normal days, we will also activate this surveillance system so that we can know how many cold and cough cases we need to take seriously. We have many types of flu. All this needs surveillance, needs data, needs monitoring,” he added. — Bernama

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