KUCHING, 5 May 2009: A 31-year-old man, who had been travelling to the United States in the last two weeks, was admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital’s isolation ward last night after having symptoms similar to influenza A (H1N1).
Health Deputy Director-General Dr Ramlee Rahmat said today the man, a local, returned to Sarawak on 1 May and had fever, cough and flu, symptoms that fit those for influenza A (H1N1), yesterday.
A swab sample taken from the man’s throat was sent to the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) in Kuala Lumpur this morning and the result was expected to be known either this evening or latest by tonight, he said.
The test result would be announced by the Health Minister or Health Director-General.
“We want to know exactly the type of the virus inside the body of that man, it is a necessary precaution,” Ramlee told reporters after opening the two-day Healthy Cities Meeting for senior officials from Malaysia and other Asean countries here.
“At the moment, there is only one suspected case in Sarawak and we have activated our public health response to identify those who have been in contact with him to monitor their health,” he said.
“Overall so far, including in Sarawak, there were a total of three suspected cases of influenza A (H1N1), with Penang and Selangor having one case each but both were negative,” he said.
Earlier, when opening the meeting, he said Malaysia was still free from the deadly influenza outbreak as the government had taken pro-active measures to prevent it from spreading to the country in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
“We have the facilities to detect it, no need to worry about it, you will be taken care of,” he told the participants of the meeting.
Despite the small presence of medical officials from Asean countries at the meeting due to influenza scare, he hoped that the meeting would meet its objective. — Bernama