MOH: Malaysia’s Flu Outbreak Under Control

Influenza activity increased nationwide except in Sabah and Labuan.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Malaysia’s health authorities asserted today that they were in control of the current Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak that has caused a school to shutter.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) also said it was verifying the cause of the death of a child, suspected of having had Influenza A, in a Selangor private hospital last January 12.

MOH reiterated that a child who died at Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor yesterday had tested negative for the flu, with the cause of death still under investigation.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said influenza activity trends — which cover the rate of consultation for influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and the rate of hospitalisation for severe acute respiratory infections — rose nationwide, except in Sabah and Labuan, since the last week of December 2019.

“The number of ILI outbreaks also showed an increase, but these cases are under control,” he said in a statement.

The DG stressed that the current flu strain did not show any mutation.

“These influenza activities are the same as those reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in other tropical countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central America, and South America,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

MOH also acknowledged that supplies of flu vaccines and antiviral drugs in private facilities have run out amid the H1N1 outbreak.

Flu vaccines at government health facilities are only available to high-risk patients and frontline MOH staff, but the oseltamivir antiviral medicine, which reduces symptoms and complications of the flu, is still available at MOH facilities.

The Health DG has also approved the supply of about a million capsules or tablets of oseltamivir from alternative suppliers for the private sector since last month until this month.

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