KUALA LUMPUR, 5 May 2009: Three more countries — Colombia, El Salvador and Portugal — have officially reported influenza A (H1N1) cases, making it 21 countries hit by the virus while the total number of cases reported worldwide so far is 1,085 with 26 deaths.
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its report, 590 cases with 25 deaths were recorded in Mexico and 286 cases with one death in United States.
Other countries that reported positive laboratory tests for influenza A (H1N1) with no deaths were Canada (101 cases), Britain (18), Spain (54), El Salvador (two), Italy (two), Germany (eight), New Zealand (six), Israel (four), France (four) and Austria, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Denmark, Netherlands, Korea Republic, Switzerland, Ireland, Colombia and Portugal (one each).
The Health Ministry advises Malaysians, if possible, to postpone international travel to countries with influenza A (H1N1) cases and those unwell are also advised not to travel abroad.
“Those who have just returned from overseas, especially from countries with influenza A (H1N1) cases, are asked to carry out self-examination and if they develop symptoms like fever, cough or symptoms of respiratory infection, they are asked to obtain immediate treatment at nearby clinics,” Ismail said in a statement here today.
He said WHO still maintained the influenza pandemic alert level at Phase 5 and did not recommend health, travel and trade restrictions and closure of borders to any countries.
He said that yesterday, the ministry received four reports regarding patients warded to the isolation ward for investigation and observation. Three were warded at Sungai Buluh Hospital and one at Sarawak General Hospital.
“The four develop symptoms of influenza-like illness and have history of travelling to the countries with influenza A (H1N1) cases. Three were confirmed negative for influenza A by the Institute for Medical Research while the other from Sarawak is in the process of laboratory tests.
“In this regard, to date no influenza A (H1N1) cases are detected in our country,” he said.
Ismail said visitors from countries hit the outbreak and Malaysians who returned from those countries were screened at international gateways and were issued with the Health Warning Card and the Health Declaration Form. — Bernama