Pregnant H1N1 victim: Relative tests positive for virus, six others show symptoms

HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN


PUTRAJAYA: A relative of the pregnant woman who died of Influenza A (H1N1) in Terengganu last Thursday has tested positive for the virus.

Six other family members are showing symptoms of the illness, including fever, flu and cough.

"Two (members of the family) are being treated at hospital and five (have received) outpatient (treatment).

"Meanwhile, an investigation is being carried out at the workplace (of the deceased. So far, none of her colleagues are presenting with) symptoms of the virus," Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.

The pregnant woman, from Kuala Terengganu, was admitted to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital (HSNZ) on April 7 after suffering a week-long fever.

She first visited a private hospital before being referred to the government hospital here, where she was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), before dying a week later.

Speaking about the presence of H1N1 in the country, Dr Noor Hisham said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that the world is in a post-pandemic phase of H1N1, which means that United Nations agencies are no longer heavily monitoring the spread of the virus.

"This is because the method of infection, signs of infection, risks of infection and complications due to influenza A are similar to seasonal influenza.

"Seasonal influenza, including H1N1, is spread via droplets (of saliva) which become airborne when infected people cough or sneeze," he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry is closely overseeing any report of respiratory infection in the country to identify and contain outbreaks, through their influenza monitoring system.

"As of now, (the monitoring system has detected no typical influenza or H1N1 outbreak) pattern in the country.

“Therefore, the public should not panic or speculate (over the disease),” he added.