H1N1 - First Death in Malaysia
7/24/2009 02:32:00 PM | Author: fadzly

First H1N1-related death in Malaysia


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia recorded its first influenza A (H1N1)-related death in a 30-year-old Indonesian student who died of heart complications.

Tengku Abdullah Syahputra from Medan was a first-year student of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur.

His body has been claimed by his family and taken back to Medan.

He was on holiday in Indonesia and returned to Malaysia on July 5. He had fever and cough but the symptoms were mild.

On July 20, he started to have high fever and cough and was lethargic.

The next day, the student sought medical treatment at a private medical centre in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur.

While waiting for his medication, the student fainted and was given emergency medical treatment but he failed to respond.

He was declared dead at 11.50am.

The medical centre declared the cause of death as cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

In extending his condolences to the victim’s family, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai stressed that the student did not die of H1N1 virus.

“Based on the preliminary post-mortem results, although he was a H1N1 patient, his death was not directly due to H1N1 as he suffered from other complications,” he said at a press conference in the ministry yesterday.

Post-mortem conducted by Hospital Kuala Lumpur found that besides being obese, there were signs of pneumonia in the lungs, enlarged heart and liver, high level of white blood cells and “pus-like material” at the trachea.

Additionally, influenza A (H1N1), dengue, TB, HIV and leptospira tests were conducted on the body and the results were negative.

Liow said the ministry was still waiting for the results of toxicology, biochemical and histology tests.

“There are lots of factors that could be the cause of death. We will only get the full report tomorrow,” Liow said at a press conference at the ministry yesterday.

In illustrating an example, Liow said any H1N1 death would not cause the white blood cells to increase.

“Normally, H1N1 will attack the lungs. The high presence of white blood cells in the victim is due to bacteria,” he said.

Elaborating further, Health director-general Tan Sri Ismail Merican said because of all the complications, it was highly likely that the cause was “something else”.

Nevertheless, Liow said the ministry had taken precautions by directing 25 employees of the private medical centre who had come into contact with the victim to quarantine themselves for seven days.

They were also given anti-viral treatment.

The ministry had also identified seven people who were roommates and part of the victim’s study group. Only one was given treatment. The others were told to take care of their health
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