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Friday, July 24, 2009

Nation’s first A(H1N1)-related death

The nation had its first Influenza A (H1N1)-related death Thursday.
An Indonesian patient died of underlying conditions and health authorites said the cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the 30-year-old first-year student from the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, Kuala Lumpur, had died from cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm).

“The Influenza A (H1N1) was not a direct cause of his death,” he said at a press conference.
The patient went back to Indonesia for a holiday and returned to Malaysia on July 5 and was reported to be suffering from a mild fever and cough, he said.

On July 21, the patient fainted while waiting for his medication after consulting a doctor at a private medical centre in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Liow said.

He was given emergency treatment but he passed away at 11.50am. “A post mortem was carried out at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital on the same day and the results showed that the patient was obese, had pneumonia, an enlarged heart and liver and pus-like material at the bottom of the trachea,” he said.

Liow said 20 specimens had been taken to carry out virology, bacterialogy, histopatology, bio-chemical and toxicology tests.

The virology and bacteriology tests on lung tissues and the trachea showed the presence of Influenza A (H1N1). “We are still waiting for other test results and the cause of death will be confirmed once all the tests are completed,” he said.

Liow said 25 staff members of the medical centre were ordered to self-quarantine themselves for seven days while seven of his room mates and study group were identified and one of them had sought treatment for influenza symptoms.

The ministry also carried out health checks yesterday at the college, he said.

Eighteen new cases were reported yesterday and 17 of them were the result of local transmissions and one imported where a Malaysian had returned from London.

From the local transmissions, 13 were from four clusters in Malacca while the rest were isolated cases.

In Kuala Terengganu, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campus in Dungun will cease classes for a week when several of its students were tested positive for the virus.

In Malacca, three colleges were ordered to be closed for a week. They are Maktab Perguruan Perempuan Melayu in Durian Daun, Kolej Professional Mara in Jalan Hang Tuah and Kolej Yayasan Melaka in Bukit Sebukor.

Several students of the women training college were placed under quarantine at the dorms by health authorities since Monday.

A check at Kolej Professional Mara in Jalan Hang Tuah and Kolej Yayasan Bukit Sebukor revealed that classes had been called off.

In Sabah a school in the Lahad Datu district was shut down yesterday after two students were tested positive for the virus. Another 108 students were quarantined at the school hostel.

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