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Health 101: H1N1 Virus, 50 and counting

As at todate, 44,287 cases have been reported all over the world with 180 deaths – the bulk coming from Mexico: 113, US: 44 and Canada: 12 deaths.


(Where are the masks? Image source:

Malaysia has finally hit 50 confirmed H1N1 case last week and one can rest assured that it is not going to be the last case. The last reported case was a student in SRJKC – Jalan Davidson in Kuala Lumpur and the authorities have closed the school for a week.

Out of the 50 that has been admitted for H1N1, 5 are school children. We will not know how many more will be admitted once the 7 days quarantine period have ended. The question is whether the authorities are doing enough to curb the spread of H1N1 among school children.

TheStar ran an interesting article on what other nations did when H1N1 was detected.

The Hong Kong government has closed all primary, kindergarten, nursery and special schools since last week after the Chinese territory recorded its first case of the virus. Schools were told to make use of online systems to send course material and homework assignments to their students.

Japan has closed 4,466 schools in six prefectures, mostly primary schools, and kindergartens, junior, according to its Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Thailand has authorised schools to suspend classes if necessary, without seeking the Education Ministry’s permission, according to a Thai news agency which quoted Thailand’s Education Minister Jurin Laksanavisit.

The Philippines, which has suspended classes in 11 schools and universities after detecting one case in each, told school authorities to report any influenza-like illnesses among their students, especially those who have recently travelled to affected countries.

Hong Kong government closed all school when only 1 case was detected but back in Malaysia, even after 50 cases detected, there is still no major closure of schools. Perhaps the authorities back in Malaysia have different priorities – education is more important than health.

The decision to close the school in Malaysia comes from the National Security Council. The question is how fast a decision was made to quarantine the students and teachers and close the school. What steps taken to avoid any “leakages” and causing further transmission? Were the families of the student and teachers been quarantined as well?

One can only pray that the authorities have been fast enough to stop the leakages.

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