Five more 'imported' flu cases

Tuesday June 16, 2009

A female Australian student has been confirmed as the seventh person infected with influenza A (H1N1) in Malaysia, said Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican.

He said the 15-year-old travelled with her mother from Melbourne on AirAsia X D7 2723 and arrived at the LCCT at 7am on Friday.

"She was detected with fever when undergoing the thermal scanner screening at the airport.

"She related to our medical team that she had started having fever, cough and sore throat the day before she arrived in Malaysia when she was further examined," he said in a statement here Saturday.

He said the girl was immediately referred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital at 8.15am on Friday and admitted to a special ward at 9.50am.

"She was confirmed with the disease at 10.34pm on the same day and she has been given anti-viral treatment since," he said, adding that the girl was in stable condition.

He said the girl's mother, who did not show any symptoms, had been placed under home quarantine.

Dr Ismail said there were 258 passengers on board AirAsia X D7 2723 and the patient was sitting at seat 31A.

"The ministry urge all passengers, especially those who were seated at row three and those nearby, to quickly call us at 03-8881 0200 or 03-8881 0300 from 8am to 9pm," he said.

He said, so far, 143 people who came into contact with influenza A patients had been put under home quarantine and all of them were reported healthy without any symptom of the disease.

Dr Ismail said 89 of them were in contact with the student who returned from the United States, 46 with two German tourists infected with the virus, seven with a 28-year-old student who arrived from New York and one with the Australian girl.

"The ministry is still tracking others who had contact with all these patients, including passengers who were on the same flights with them," he said.

He said on Friday, the ministry received 26 notifications of passengers with influenza symptoms.

"All these patients have been admitted to the isolation wards in six designated hospitals for treatment and investigation," he said.

He said one of them was the Australian student while 19 others were tested negative for the virus and six were still waiting for their results.

Health authorities have urged passengers on the flight to report to the hospital, he said.

The World Health Organization says the disease has reached 69 countries and infected more than 22,000 people, causing 125 deaths

This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.