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All the sudden 1,2,3 …4th case now?

The minister said:

… he has directed all doctors to be extra vigilant – to check patients for A (H1N1) infection and give them anti-viral treatment once they were confirmed positive.

Let us all play our role …


From The Star 30 July 2009:

PUTRAJAYA: A 20-year-old woman died from the influenza A (H1N1) in a case of local transmission, the fourth death reported in the country.

She died of “severe community acquired pneumonia” at 9.40am on Tuesday at the Malacca Hospital, where she had been admitted on July 26.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the woman, who was obese, had suffered from the flu for 11 days before seeking treatment at the hospital, adding that she suffered clinical complications on July 27. A throat swab was taken on Tuesday.

“The deaths reported affected victims in their 20s and 40s. They had early symptoms but sought treatment late and doctors did not suspect that they had H1N1. This is discomforting to the ministry,” Dr Ismail said after chairing the National Pandemic Preparedness Plan technical committee meeting here yesterday.

Asked why the ministry was not alerted to the case on Tuesday, he said the doctor had only discovered the woman had H1N1 after her death.

Dr Ismail said he was informed of her death after the Institute of Medical Research received the results yesterday morning.

On whether the ministry would take action against hospitals for failure to detect H1N1 cases early, he replied: “We don’t want to play the blame game. We advise patients to go to hospital if they have symptoms.”

He said the people were still taking H1N1 lightly even after four deaths.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said four influenza A (H1N1) patients were now being treated in intensive care units (ICU) and were under close monitoring,

He said he has directed all doctors to be extra vigilant – to check patients for A (H1N1) infection and give them anti-viral treatment once they were confirmed positive.

“We must focus on treatment. Delay in getting anti-viral treatment could worsen the condition of patients, particularly those who were not so healthy – obese or having other illnesses,” he said when asked to confirm the ICU cases.

Liow cautioned doctors not to treat patients with flu symptoms as normal cases, adding that there were a few occasions where the patients were just given paracetamol and medicine to bring down their fever.

He said all the four who died had come in late and did not get anti-viral treatment early.

“By then, they were already very weak, their immunity extremely low and many health complications had set in,” he said.

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