Influenza A In Sabah, H1N1 Update

The number of confirmed N1H1 cases in Sabah is 435, with 2 fatalities so far. The 2 patients were associated with the high risk group. The first was an obese woman, and the second an elderly man with chronic heart disease. Both deaths were caused by pulmonary edema, followed by heart failure. This brings the nation’s death toll of those who succumbed to H1N1 to 8.

Out of 14 patients warded at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, one is in  intensive care unit (ICU).

Individuals categorized as being in the high risk group are children below the age of 5, senior citizens above the age of 65, pregnant women, people with asthma or other lung illnesses, people with dysfunctional organs, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and those with weak immune system.

To stop the spread of the H1N1 in schools, 35 schools in Sabah has been closed. A World Health Organization (WHO) expert panel study suggests that avoiding the incidence of crowd such as in schools can reduce the spread of the flu.

A Word With My Doctor
I had a chat with my physician, Dr Raj of Poliklinik Prisma, to gain some understanding of Influenza A. While my heart goes out to the victims in this situation, why was there so much concern about this particular strain of flu? We have effective anti-viral treatments, and recovery rate is high. I am concern for my children, but just how concerned should we be?

Dr Raj explained that the difference between this flu virus and common flu was, H1N1 can kill if left untreated. The human body can fight off the normal flu virus with little help. H1N1, unless treated with anti-viral medicine, will knock out your immune system. Leaving you wide open for other infections. If you look at the deaths from H1N1, they are caused by pulmonary edema, pneumonia and existing medical conditions. These are secondary infections or complications that occur after the flu knocked out the body’s immune system.

That is why antibiotics are normally prescribed when you have the flu. It is to prevent other infections that may further compromise your immune system.

Effective Measures To Contain The Flu

  1. Stay away from crowds, or keep your distance.
  2. Keep your young ones and elderly at home.
  3. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  4. Wash your hands after you cough into them, or have contact with other people.

The measures are intended to slow down the spread of the flu until it dies out or a vaccine is developed and distributed. According to reports, the earliest the vaccine will be available is towards the end of this year.
Don’t send your child to school if they have flu-like symptoms.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 5:03 am and is filed under Sabah News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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