Friday, November 20, 2009

Second wave of A/H1N1 outbreak in Thailand and Malaysia

BANGKOK (Xinhua) -- The second round of the A/H1N1 influenza outbreak in Thailand has started, Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai said Thursday.

In the countryside the A/H1N1 virus is spreading in schools as the winter is affecting Thailand, the minister said.

Also, the people's gathering at festivals during the winter time has contributed to the second outbreak of the new flu, Witthaya said.

Hence, public health agencies nationwide have been instructed to strictly implement preventive measures for four months from November to February to curb the outbreak, he said.

These preventive steps include wearing a face mask, often washing hands, avoiding crowded places, and suspending working or class after developing flu-liked symptoms.

Students, working people, elders, and those with chronic diseases will be closely monitored, the minister said.

On Wednesday the Bureau of Epidemiology reported one more death case due to the A/H1N1 contraction, bringing the country's death toll from the new virus to 185.

Thailand had its first two confirmed patients on May 12.

H1N1 Situation in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- An Influenza A(H1N1) cluster was reported at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Paya Bungor, Kuantan, last week, Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said.

In a statement, he said the district health office had taken the necessary measures to address the matter.

Meanwhile, he said the death toll from H1N1 in the country remained at 77, with no new deaths reported.

Last week, 619 new patients were hospitalised with the influenza-like illness (ILI).

Up to Nov 14, 448 ILI cases were still being treated at 62 hospitals nationwide, he said.

On the global H1N1 situation, Dr Ismail said as at Nov 8, there were 503,536 confirmed H1N1 cases with 6,260 deaths in 206 countries.

He said the transmissions in the northern hemisphere countries such as North America, West Canada, Europe and Asia showed an unusual increase of ILI cases.

The surveillance in those countries showed that the percentage of the H1N1 virus detected was higher compared to seasonal influenza virus.