Wednesday 9 February 2011

Killer swine flu back on rise, warns Health Ministry

Petikan dari Malaysian Insider:
Komen: Benda ni tak penah pergi dari Malaysia. Dia duduk diam2 and tunggu masa nak strike.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — The deadly influenza A (H1N1) virus that has claimed at least 92 lives in Malaysia is on the rise again, with week-on-week infections doubling in the first two weeks of the year.

The Health Ministry released data for the first three weeks of the year yesterday, showing that the number of cases per week had risen from 40 to 82 and then, 99.

“This rise could be caused by cold weather or the rainy season,” said deputy director-general of health (public health) Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman.

Malaysia had experienced lower temperatures last month, with thermometers reading 26 degrees Celcius at midday, instead of the normal range of between 29 and 35 degrees, while heavy rain has caused floods in at least six states around the country earlier this year.

There was also an increase in weekly influenza-like illness (ILI) cluster cases, which rose from two to 22, Dr Hasan said in the letter. Cluster cases refer to multiple infections in the same area, which may signify possible contagion throughout the local community.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican had said last August that there were 15,584 H1N1-positive cases and 92 fatalities in Malaysia since the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

Swine flu is also on the rise in neighbouring Hong Kong, which has reported 10 deaths and 51 victims in intensive care since January 24.

Kelvin To, clinical assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong’s microbiology department, had said that the current winter was colder, dryer and longer than previous years, which increased the survival and transmission of the H1N1 virus.

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Margaret Chan had declared the H1N1 pandemic over last August, 14 months after it began in June 2009.

The flu pandemic had killed an estimated 18,000 people worldwide and spread to over 200 countries, according to WHO.

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