Malaysia confirmed its 12th Influenza A (H1N1) case yesterday.
Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the latest victim was a 19-year-old student from a private institution of higher learning in Malaysia who was on holiday in Melbourne, Australia for 17 days from May 24.
“He returned to Malaysia with three of his friends on flight MH148 which arrived at the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 9.21pm on June 10. He was seated at 36F and his friends were seated in the same row,” he said in a statement here.
Dr Mohd Ismail said the student had no fever at the KLIA and had dropped by his friend’s house in Ampang before returning to his father’s house in Kuala Lumpur.
He had lunch with his mother at a shopping complex on June 11.
He had fever then but later went around Kuala Lumpur with his friends.
Dr Mohd Ismail said the student sought treatment at the Universiti Medical Centre at 3pm on Friday and was immediately referred to the isolation ward of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital at 5.30pm and confirmed to be infected with the disease yesterday morning.
“Investigation showed that he started having a sore throat and nasal block on June 9.”
He was stable then and was given antiviral treatment.
He said the student’s parents who did not live together had been placed under home quarantine.
He said the ministry had traced five of his contacts for quarantine besides the other passengers of flight MH148, especially those seated in rows 33 to 39.
“The Health Ministry is worried about the situation and urges anyone who has just arrived or returned from the affected countries to restrict their travelling for seven days and if they have the Influenza A(H1N1) symptoms, to immediately seek treatment and refrain from socialising with others,” he said.
Dr Mohd Ismail said currently there were five cases under treatment — one each at the Sungai Buloh hospital here, Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban and the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and two at the Penang Hospital.
He said that in the last 24 hours, 33 cases with influenza symptoms who had returned from affected countries had been reported and 27 admitted to the isolation wards of six referral hospitals for treatment and investigation.
On June 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the alert for the disease from phase 5 to 6 and declared an pandemic, with 22 countries with local infections.
Malaysia has not reported any case of local infection.
The statement said the according to the WHO, as at 8am today there were 29,827 Influenza A (H1N1) cases with 145 deaths from 74 countries with the addition of 1007 cases from 25 countries, the majority of them in Canada (532), Spain (131), Argentina (87), Australia (84) and Japan (31) and one death in Guatemala.
Dr Mohd Ismail said in view that many students would be returning from the United States and Europe for their holidays, control measures like screening at the country’s entry points had been stepped up.
“The Health Ministry wants to stress again and seek the cooperation of Malaysian students overseas who intend to return for the summer holidays to postpone their journey home if they have the influenza symptoms,” he said.
He also advised them to get treatment before returning to Malaysia and to report to the medical team at the KLIA if they were unwell.
Those who have the influenza symptoms within seven days of their return should immediately seek treatment at a clinic or hospital.
He also urged all the passengers, crew and others who had come into contact with the latest case to call 03-88810200 or 03-88810300 so that they could be given health advice including on the need for home quarantine.