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Three passengers negative for H1N1 virus (Updated 6.17pm)

Updated 6.17pm, 18 May 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 May 2009: Three passengers on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH091 from Newark, New Jersey to KLIA via Sweden on 13 May, who were having fever had been tested negative for the H1N1 virus. 

The three passengers were a woman, who was quarantined at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) in Johor Baharu, Johor on Sunday afternoon after she developed fever, and another woman and a man who were admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching.

In JOHOR BARU, State Health Department director Dr Mohd Khairi Yakub said that the woman was now placed in an open ward and expected to be discharged soon.             

The woman had been on home quarantine with three other passengers, two men and a woman, in Johor Baru since 15 May before she developed fever.           

“The three other passengers are being home quarantined until Wednesday (20 May),” he said.          

They were among 119 passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH091 from Newark, New Jersey, where two passengers were then confirmed positive for influenza A(H1N1).        

Meanwhile, Mohd Khairi said two foreigners, who were vacationing at one of the islands in Johor, had been quarantined at their hotel since Saturday.

He said they had yet to show any symptoms of the viral infection but the health department would be monitoring them closely.

In KUCHING, the two passengers of flight MH091 who were admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), a man and a woman in their 20s, were cleared after tests howed that they had not been infected by the H1N1 virus, said Sarawak Housing and Public Health Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck.

The woman, who was admitted to the SGH’s isolation ward on 16 May and the man yesterday after both developed a fever, were among nine passengers from Sarawak who boarded flight MH091.

“There is no more suspected H1NI cases at present,” Soon told reporters on the sidelines of the state legislative assembly sitting.

Soon said the remaining seven passengers were now under home quarantine for seven days.

He said the authorities had successfully traced all the nine passengers from the state, who were told to seek treatment immediately if they felt unwell.

In PENANG, a man and his son who were suffering from fever after returning from Brazil had been released by the Penang General Hospital (PGH), here today.

The State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairperson Phee Boon Poh said both of them had sought treatment from a private hospital yesterday before being referred to the PGH today.

“The medical check-up at PGH shows that they were suffering a common fever and the symptoms were not of influenza A (H1N1),” he told Bernama when contacted here today.

He said both of them were on a flight from Brazil which transited in New York in the United States and Singapore before arriving in Malaysia. 

He said both were admitted around 10am before they were allowed to go back about two hours later.

In SHAH ALAM, the Chairperson of the State Committee on Health, Dr Xavier A Jayakumar said the Selangor Health Department was tracking down eight of the 47 passengers who were on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH091 flight from the state.

He said the eight comprised four Malaysians and eight foreigners.

“Based on their last-known addresses, the eight are still in Selangor but we are facing difficulties with the foreigners as they are on the move although their registered residence is Selangor,” he said.

Xavier said the remaining 39 passengers of MH091 from New York who arrived at the KLIA on May 13 had been identified and were undergoing home quarantine.

In addition, he said the department had traced 18 of the 41 passengers on Air Asia’s flight AK5358 who were residing in Selangor and they were also undergoing home quarantine.

Efforts were being taken to trace the remaining passengers of the flight which took off from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang to Penang at 11 am on 13 May, which was also boarded by the two passengers who were suspected of being infected with the H1N1 virus, he said.

Xavier said as at 8 am today, the Selangor Health Department had received 84 notices of “case under investigation” for the Influenza A (H1N1) from the Sungai Buloh Hospital and of this number, only one case had been confirmed positive of the Influenza A (H1N1) while six were still being treated at the hospital.

In MALACCA, a passenger on the MH091 flight from Newark, and another passenger on the AK5358 from the LCCT Sepang were quarantined at their respective residence, here for seven days beginning yesterday.

Malacca Health Director Dr Ghazali Othman said the two men, who did not show any symptoms of the Influenza A and were in good health, were being quarantined at home for observation.

“We obtained their names and addresses from the federal headquarters (of the Malaysian Health Department) and quarantined them at home after tracking them down,” he said when contacted.

In KUALA LUMPUR, the Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said that currently, there was still one case of Influenza B being treated at the Isolation ward of the Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, in Seremban.

He said there were now 11 cases that were under observation and their conditions were reported to be stable.

He said that based on preliminary investigation of the epidemic and laboratory tests, the outbreak was caused by Influenza B infection.

“The patients are in stable condition,” he said in a media statement, here today.

Mohd Ismail said observation on the trainees and staff at the Police Training Centre in Jempol was being continued by health personnel who were working round the clock.

“Anyone with symptoms of the infection will be referred directly to the Jempol Hospital for further treatment,” he said.

He said preventive and control measures had been carried out to ensure that there was no outbreak of the infection.— Bernama

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