Experts urge vigilance to curb spread of flu infections

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Experts urge vigilance to curb spread of flu infections Empty Experts urge vigilance to curb spread of flu infections

Post by swatika on Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:34 pm

PETALING JAYA: Travel if you must, but take all necessary precautions to minimise the risk of influenza A(H1N1) infection.
While the authorities have called for calm and stepped up preventive measures, the people must play their part by seeking medical help if they develop flu-like symptoms.
Consultant infectious diseases physician and Global Hygiene Council member Dr Christopher Lee urged those who have travelled to countries with documented A(H1N1) infections to be vigilant.
“Seek medical attention immediately if you develop flu-like symptoms within seven days of return. These practical measures can make a significant difference in slowing down the spread of A(H1N1). The public has a big role to play,” he said.
Since the World Health Organisation declared A(H1N1) a pandemic last Thursday, Universiti Malaya senior research fellow and virologist Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Lam Sai Kit said the decision to travel during this period rested with the individual. “However, travelling should be on a need-to basis,” he said.
“Going on holidays means moving in crowded places, making many new friends and many more handshakes. At Level Six (of the WHO alert), we should really review our activities.”
Malaysian Medical Association president Dr David Quek said there was no need to be overly anxious, “but everyone should remain on high alert”.
“We cannot arrest the entry of this disease into our country, but we can try to ameliorate its penetration and its more serious consequences.”
According to Dr Quek, the fatality rate for A(H1N1) is 1 in every 200 infected.
Countries identified by WHO to have had A(H1N1) community transmissions are the United States, Britain, Spain, Japan and Australia. But more countries, even those in South-East Asia, are joining the list.
Malaysia is bracing for the return of students from Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, for their mid-term winter break (three to four weeks) at the end of the month.
Melbourne has been dubbed “swine flu capital of the world”, with a tally of affected people above 1,000 last week.
According to Wisma Putra, there are more than 5,800 Malaysians studying at nine universities in Victoria.
Malaysia recorded its 12th confirmed A(H1N1) case after a student who returned from Melbourne on Wednesday was found to be infected with the virus. The 10th case was a 17-year-old girl who returned from a holiday in Melbourne on June 9.
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