Death of SGH patient not related to H1N1
0 month ago, 26-Nov-2019
The general public and high-risk groups are strongly encouraged to obtain seasonal influenza vaccinations. AFP File Photo
KUCHING: The State Health Department (JKN) has confirmed that one of the three recent Influenza A positive related death cases at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) has tested negative for H1N1, while the results for the other two cases have yet to be determined.
State Health Director Dr Jamilah Hashim explained that the infections in all three cases were not related to one another and all three cases belong to high-risk individuals as investigations also found that no new cases or clusters were reported following each case.
This was because as a general rule, seasonal influenza virus infections only cause mild flu symptoms in normal people but can cause severe infections in high-risk groups such as young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic diseases illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue and more.
“Complications due to severe influenza infections experienced by these high-risk groups also have the potential to cause death. In general, cases of respiratory infections including influenza in Malaysia are constantly monitored by the Ministry of Health Malaysia to detect unusual occurrences through surveillance systems,” she added.
She explained that these systems include consultation rates for influenza like-illness (ILI) and hospitalised patients with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) while the National Public Health Laboratory and the Medical Research Institute are also responsible for monitoring any changes to the influenza virus in the country.
Apart from that, Dr Jamilah also revealed that based on the trends recorded from the surveillance activity, ILI cases has seen an increase in the normal range since early November 2019 and these trends are similar to those in previous years.
As a matter of fact, analysis of influenza viruses detected from surveillance activities did not show any signs of mutation leading to the emergence of a new influenza virus (novel virus) too.
“Influenza is an infection with major symptoms such as cold or flu, sore throat, cough and other symptoms such as headache, muscle aches, joint pain and fatigue. Flu on the other hand is highly contagious in humans, especially in high-density places such as schools, hostels, closed workplaces, training institutions and military or police camps,” she said.
Hence to prevent the spread of influenza infections, especially in conjunction with festivals and school holidays, the state JKN would like to remind the public to maintain a high level of personal hygiene, practice regular hand washing with water and soap or hand sanitizer and practice good cough manners.
For those with symptoms of influenza infection, it is advisable for them to rest at home and not visit public areas, and if the need arises, they are advised to wear facemasks when out in public.
“Should anyone have severe symptoms such as fever and cough or sore throat, they should go to a clinic or hospital for further treatment. The general public and high-risk groups in particular are strongly encouraged to obtain seasonal influenza vaccinations offered by private health facilities too,” said Dr Jamilah.
Dr Jamilah’s statement was issued following a viral message saying that SGH recently recorded three death cases which were allegedly related to H1N1.