KUALA LUMPUR: New influenza A (H1N1) cluster cases have been detected throughout the country, putting the Health Ministry on high alert. And for the first time, staff of a government hospital were also infected.
Between March 21 and 27 alone, 83 people in Selangor, Malacca and Terengganu were found to have the virus.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said these cluster cases indicated that the H1N1 virus was still active. He, however, said the situation was under control.
Of the 83 people, 15 were staff of Hospital Serdang in Selangor, Sime Darby Merlimau Estate in Malacca (16), Madrasah Tahfiz Raudatul Muslihin Masjid Tanah in Malacca (31), IKM Jasin Malacca (7), Rumah Anak Yatim Vidyalaya Kuala Kubu Baru (9) and Sekolah Menengah Agama Rantau Abang in Dungun, Terengganu (5).
Dr Ismail said clinical analysis of throat swabs taken from confirmed victims of the disease showed no signs of a second wave.
However, the risk of a second wave among the people was still high due to them being susceptible to the infection.
On March 27, 371 people were admitted to 38 government and seven private hospitals nationwide with influenza-like illnesses. Of the total, 25 were found positive for H1N1 and eight are in the intensive care unit.
No new deaths have been reported.
Dr Ismail also called on the people to alert the nearest district health departments if they know of individuals or cluster of people with symptoms of the disease.
On the Kuala Kubu case where 59 pupils of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Kuala Kubu Baru were placed in home quarantine after 47 were found with H1N1, he said only one was confirmed positive.
Two pupils are waiting the outcome of laboratory results while another 15, who were admitted with influenza-like illness, were discharged and were now in home quarantine.
Thirty-five other pupils have recovered from their illness but have been told to return to hospital if they had a recurrence of the symptoms.
"Parents of these pupils have been told to closely monitor them."