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More warded for suspected meningitis

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 May 2009: The number of Road Transport Department (JPJ) trainees admitted to the isolation ward of the Melaka Hospital for suspected meningitis has increased to 29 while another two trainees still remained in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said today that there were 11 new cases reported this morning after they complained of the symptoms.

However, the conditions of all those hospitalised were stable and they would remain under observation for a week.

Speaking to reporters after presenting the MS ISO 9001:2000 certificate to Tung Shin Hospital here, Liow said the Health Department would need at least another two days to determine the sub-type of the bacteria responsible for the outbreak.

He said the incubation of the bacteria since 2am on Saturday at the Sungai Buloh Microbiology Centre could not produce any results as yet.

“Normally the process will take about 16 hours. But it seems that we may need a longer time to incubate the samples we collected from the three localities suspected to cause the outbreak,” he said.

Yesterday, the Health Ministry confirmed that the outbreak at the JPJ Academy in Tiang Dua, Malacca, was caused by the diplococci bacteria.

Liow said the outbreak was successfully contained after it was detected on 7 May although 449 trainees and staff of the academy were still under quarantine.

To date, a trainee, Mohd Hafiz Zainudin, 24, from Kota Baru, has died of the infection. — Bernama

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