Monday, May 18, 2009

Influenza A (H1N1) Flu Epidemic becoming a Pandemic? / A(H1N1)型流感会否成为流行疾病

Now that the H1N1 flu has spread worldwide with 35 countries reporting more than 8,400 cases, the pressure falls upon WHO to upgrade the alert from level 5 to level 6 of the pandemic level. With 2 confirmed cases in Malaysia, we have also gone into the world map and the WHO radar screen of Influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Once a pandemic announcement is made, it would have severe economic consequences affecting trade and travel. Many countries with inadequate health infrastructure will be greatly stressed. Some nations may even place travel restriction and it may totally cripple the tourism industry. For some countries who are dependant on the travel industry, this may be the last straw that breaks the camel’s economic back.

Personally, I feel that there is too much of publicity about Influenza A (H1N1) and this have generated mass panic, rather than rational response. There is no reason to panic over Influenza A (H1N1) since up till now, death from Influenza A (H1N1) is still on the low side, with less than 1 percent. Of course it spreads rapidly and hence, has high morbidity. On the yearly basis, the common flu kills up to 500, 000 people a year without much fun fare and publicity. Of course if the H1N1 virus mutates and becomes more virulent and spread as rapidly as at present, then we are in trouble.

Right now, I have received a lot of calls about people putting on hold their intention to travel. Having said that, we should not let our guards down. Personal hygiene is still the best protection. Until then, we hope that all airplane passengers travelling with the 2 confirmed cases and all people coming into contact with them should come forward for observation. Otherwise, they may be passing the bugs to others.

I have been given to understand that the isolation ward in Sg. Buloh Hospital is full and new patients will be going to General Hospital Kuala Lumpur. I am of the opinion that for the more educated suspect cases, it suffices to put them in house quarantine and close monitoring by doctors, rather than in isolation ward in the hospital.



我个人认为,AH1N1)型流感的宣传和报道已经过度,以致引起群众恐慌 ,失去理智反应。我们并无需感到惊慌失措 ,因为爆发至今,AH1N1)型流感的死亡病例仍少于1%,属于偏低。由于疫情正迅速蔓延,所以有很高的病发率。其实,若按年计算,普通流感平均每年夺走50万人命,然而却没有被大肆报道。当然,如果H1N1病毒产生突变变得更剧毒,以目前速度蔓延的话,那情况就不妙了。





ernest cheah said...

HI Dr. Chua
I supposed our minister of health is too busy with his work so now you are educating the public on his behalf on this issue. Anyway we thank you for it.

So congratulation to your new found job, hopefully this job will quiet you for sometime to come.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Chua,
I agree. There is a certain degree of news sensationalism about this flu thing. I came home today and right at the gate of the arrival hall is a team of medical workers wearing masks, including the immigration officers. Straight away without uttering a simple explanation, the nurse put this digital thermometer on my forehead. And again without a word, I am expected to know my way to the immigration counter. Only one officer was directing us to the counter. My first thought was is there a case here in this town ? Second. Has the virus somehow travelled all the way from Mexico to here ? Third, if I were to have a fever there and then, are they going to cart me off straight away to the government hospital ? Any passenger can have a simple fever. Any passenger can be having a simple everyday flu. Even the lady immigration officer sneezed and is my IC card carrying that flu bug ? What if it is that lady immigration officer who has that flu thing and pass it on to me via my IC card ? And every plane that left the U.S.'s soil is expected to be carrying the flu bug. It is ridiculous. If we were to think logically, whether one wears a mask or not, if it is that particular flu thing, than whatever we do cannot stop it from happening. The powerful people are just so interested in getting attention. Education like eating healthily and so that will be more effective at this time.

Mike said...

Are you so desperate to have this PR state coordinator post?

Actually what are your job functions. What happen to the state opposition leaders?

Again our tax payer money down the drain ……

Or so to speak now that you are in-charge when are you going to call for fresh election in Perak?

人生不过如此-沈兴.sim Heng.(1963)。 said...


Suci Dalam Debu said...


The rope given to you is for you to hang yourself.

Stay away from that post unless you want to be a 'double' agent and eventually help PR to sweep the whole of Malaysia.

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