Infected teen girl has unwittingly exposed 20 people to A (H1N1) virus
By DHARMENDER SINGH
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has recorded its first locally-transmitted A(H1N1) case – a 17-year-old girl who had contact with a patient. She is the country’s 23rd confirmed case.
However, she was not identified earlier and had exposed 20 other people to the flu virus before she sought treatment at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the girl had flu symptoms on Sunday and sought treatment the following day after developing a fever.
Investigations revealed that the girl had contact with the 12th patient, he said in a statement yesterday.
She was not placed under quarantine earlier as she was not among those identified as having contact with the 12th patient and consequently exposed 20 others to the virus.
Dr Ismail said it was vital that all those confirmed as having the A(H1N1) flu give their fullest co-operation by providing complete information on people who had contact with them as this was the only way to avoid local transmission.
“Action can be taken under the Disease Prevention and Control Act 1988 if they fail to provide complete information to us,” he said.
Dr Ismail said four more confirmed cases were also reported in the 24 hours up to 9am yesterday including a 23-year-old local university student who was part of a group of 12 students and lecturers that went on a seven-day visit to Australia from June 7.
The male student had been on the same flight as another confirmed case, who was on the AirAsia X flight D7 2723 (seat 37J) that landed at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal at 7.15am on June 14, he said.
The student developed fever about five hours after landing and sought treatment at a private clinic at 9am the next day before being referred to Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban.
He was confirmed as having the flu at 6pm on Tuesday and the Health Ministry is now tracing 37 contacts including flight passengers, members of the group, relatives and staff at the private clinic where he first sought treatment.
Dr Ismail said the 21st confirmed case involved a 20-year-old studying in Melbourne, Australia, who travelled home for the holidays on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH128 (seat 20K) that landed at KL International Airport at 6am on Tuesday.
The 22nd case was a 54-year-old who had returned from Manila on board the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 705 (seat 32H) that landed at KLIA at 8.25am on June 12.