Influenza: School in Perak closed today


The influenza outbreak last week saw many students infected with the virus and today a school in Perak was closed.

Perak State Education director Dr Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Ali said the closure of Sekolah Menengah Sains Teluk Intan (Semesti) following 10 students being infected with influenza at the hostel since Saturday, affected the classes of the other 570 students at the school.

He said 28 people in four districts were infected with influenza including Influenza A in Perak from Jan 9 to 12.

“As many as 11 people from Bagan Datuk district including 10 in Semesti; Kinta (eight); Larut Matang and Selama (five), Manjung (four) and all the infected students are now quarantined at their homes on the advice of their doctors and until they recover, ” he told Bernama.

Influenza is a viral infection with the main flu symptoms such as fever, sore throat, coughing, headaches, muscle and joint pain and fatigue.

The outbreak caused by the seasonal influenza virus only causes mild fever and cold to ordinary people but can lead to severe infections in high-risk groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.

In JOHOR BAHRU, a Year One female student said to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA), here, is confirmed to have been infected by Influenza A.

Johor Education, Health, and Human Resources Committee chairman Aminolhuda Hassan, however, said there were other complications requiring the child to be admitted to the ICU and closely monitored by a physician.

“It is confirmed influenza but she has various other problems, not just influenza, ” he told reporters at the Johor State Health Department here today.

Meanwhile, Aminolhuda said the influenza situation in the state was under control, and there was sufficient supply of antiviral medication to treat influenza.

He said 89 pre-school pupils and students up to Form Four who were suspected to be infected with influenza were treated only as outpatients and asked to rest at their respective homes.

In PAHANG, Education director Datuk Dr Tajuddin Mohd Yunus said 10 pupils from 10 primary schools were diagnosed with influenza since Jan 7 but no schools or classes were closed. The students involved were directed to be quarantined.

He said Kuantan recorded the highest number of victims with five cases followed by Cameron Highlands (two cases) and one each in Jerantut, Bentong and Raub.

He said two of the five students who were confirmed infected had been discharged from the hospital and quarantined at home with three others still being treated at the hospital.

Pahang state Health director Datuk Dr Bahari Awang Ngah said there were currently 180 doses of influenza A vaccine at three hospitals, namely at the Kuantan, Bentong and Temerloh district hospitals.

In PENANG, Education Department director, Abdul Rashid Abdul Samad said 103 students in 52 primary and secondary schools in the state were infected with influenza as of yesterday.

“Although the number of influenza victims has increased (19 pupils were reported on Jan 8), no schools have been closed but only two Year 2 classes at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Li Hwa, Butterworth, have remained closed since Wednesday.

“Of the total, seven primary school students and a secondary school student are being treated at the hospital while others are being quarantined at their homes, ” he said, adding that all of them from 40 primary schools and 12 secondary schools were reported to be in stable condition.

Meanwhile, in SELANGOR, State Department Education (JPNS) director Dr Mahanom Mat Sam said 231 cases of Influenza A and H1N1 involving 97 schools in eight districts were recorded in the state.

He said Klang district recorded the highest number of cases for both types of influenza with 97 cases involving 35 schools followed by Petaling Perdana (53 cases from 27 schools), and Petaling Utama (23 cases from 10 schools).

Sepang district recorded 30 cases from seven schools, Kuala Selangor (seven cases from six schools), Gombak (eight cases from six schools), Kuala Langat (seven cases from three schools) and Hulu Selangor (six cases from two schools).

However, it is clear that no classes or schools have been closed throughout Selangor.

In KEDAH, State Health, Religious Affairs and Rural Development Committee chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh said the outbreak of influenza virus in the state was still under control with less than 20 cases since early January.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of cases (influenza) and have identified several affected areas such as Kubang Pasu, Kuala Muda and Alor Setar, ” he said.

In KELANTAN, State health department director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin said although no cases were reported in the state, precautionary measures were being taken.

In MELAKA, State Health and Anti-Drugs Committee chairman Low Chee Leong said the influenza outbreak in the state was still under control but did not specify the number of cases involved.

In TERENGGANU, Health Department director Dr Nor Azimi Yunus said two disease clusters such as influenza (ILI) were recorded involving nine patients, aged between three and 38 years, from two families in Setiu district from Jan 5th to 7th .

“Of the total, five tested positive for influenza A, three for influenza B while another was not identified as the person did not undergo any tests and all the cases were confirmed by private facilities and given Tamiflu treatment. All the cases are in a stable condition, ” he said.

In Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak no cases have been recorded so far, but the respective state health departments were keeping an eye on current developments.

In PUTRAJAYA, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the ministry´s facilities have sufficient influenza antiviral stock for up to three months.

For private health facilities, he said, there were five suppliers with the capacity of one million units of antiviral capsules that could cover 100,000 patients.

“Private clinics need to apply to us if they want to get supplies from these (five) suppliers and approval will be given on the same day, ” he told reporters after delivering his new year message at the ministry here today.

Dzulkefly also said it was important to note that not all sore throat cases were due to influenza and it did not mean everybody needs the Tamiflu antiviral medication even if it was influenza.

“The public should not be too alarmed with the influenza A outbreak and resort to Tamiflu treatment as it will trigger resistance to the antiviral medication, ” he said.