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Friday April 16, 2010

Cases of flu in schools to be monitored closely

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Mini­stry has directed all school heads to monitor closely any signs of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and separate those with such symptoms immediately to avoid the possibility of spreading the A(H1N1) virus.

Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom said school authorities were to conduct daily checks to detect students and staff suffering from fever or flu.

He said school heads were also told to get the advice of the district Health Officer if the spread of flu in their schools starts to interfere with the running of classes.

“We want school heads to take a pro-active approach and contain the situation from the very start as any closure of classes or schools should be carried out only as a last resort,” Alimuddin said in a statement yesterday.

“The ministry is taking a serious look at the quality of health among students and staff in schools following reports of a higher number of ILI clusters appearing in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Negri Sembilan.”

In Petaling Jaya, 15 people tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus out of 72 people with ILI as of 8am yesterday.

The 15 people were from the 11 new ILI clusters reported by the Health Ministry.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said 528 patients were being warded through­out the country for ILI as of 5.30pm on Wednesday.

“Of the number, 68 cases or 12.9% were confirmed to be positive for Influenza A(H1N1) while eight patients were being treated in intensive care units,” he said in a statement.

No deaths were reported on Wednesday, he added.

Among the new clusters reported were the Putra Putri Taboh Naning national service camp in Alor Gajah, Bandar Puteri housing area in Klang, SMK Kuala Kubu Baru in Selangor, SJK(C) Chong Hwa in Batu Pahat and the White Resort national service camp in Penang.

Dr Mohd Ismail reminded those in high-risk groups such as pregnant women and patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes and asthma to be vaccinated immediately at 104 ministry facilities nationwide.

For more information, go to h1n1.moh.gov.my or call the ministry’s hotline at 03-8881 0200/0300.

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