H1N1 update

I will try to post update on H1N1 news on and off since this is of big concern by most people now.

Latest update by WHO on H1N1:

Worldwide, the majority of patients infected with the pandemic virus continue to experience mild symptoms and recover fully within a week, even in the absence of any medical treatment. Monitoring of viruses from multiple outbreaks has detected no evidence of change in the ability of the virus to spread or to cause severe illness.

In addition to the enhanced risk documented in pregnant women, groups at increased risk of severe or fatal illness include people with underlying medical conditions, most notably chronic lung disease (including asthma), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and immunosuppression. Some preliminary studies suggest that obesity, and especially extreme obesity, may be a risk factor for more severe disease.

This is the latest from European Centre of Disease Control (ECDC):

  •  There are no reports as yet of unusual presentations or transmission routes for this influenza compared to normal seasonal influenza viruses. There is no indication of risk of infection through food or potable drinks.
  •  If the pandemic behaves like previous ones, cumulative clinical attack rates over the first major wave of infection in 2009–10 might be expected to be in the range of 20% to 30%, with a reasonable planning  assumption of 30%.
  • Based on experience in North America, clinical attack rates will be highest in children and younger adults.
  •  Adults over 60 years seem, at present, to be the least affected age group, though there are indications from the USA that those few that are affected experience the highest risk of severe disease of any age group.
  • The groups experiencing most of the severe disease and death are those in the risk groups of people with chronic underlying medical conditions (this includes morbid obesity), pregnant women and young children (especially under two years of age).
  • Most of those infected experience a mild self-limiting illness, even in people in risk groups. However, as for seasonal influenza there are some people who experience more severe disease and some of these die despite medical care. These include a few people without any known underlying condition and outside  other risk groups.


One risk facing us is that our health resources may be stressed to the limits, as was the experience in New York city, and that other lethat diseases like Dengue may be neglected in our preoccupation with H1N1. Dengue kills more people in Malaysia than most seasonal flu every year, so while we should be vigilant about H1n1, we should not let our guard down against Dengue.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Aug 05, 2009 @ 17:29:49

    Dr. Hsu. The Melaka region seemed to have the most number of fatalities. Any explanation for this.


  2. Meng
    Aug 05, 2009 @ 20:43:39

    Accordingly to this site: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/files/pdf/Health_topics/Situation_Report_090804_1700hrs.pdf

    In the past 24 hours:
    No death were report for Myanmar and Cambodia.

    One death were reported each in Brunei Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam.

    8 death each in Malaysia and Philippines.

    Singapore 6 death and Thailand has the highest with 65 death.

    Does it mean the countries like Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam have better health care system than those of Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand….OR

    Is it related to the tourist arrival, perhaps with Thailand.. maybe so as it is a favourite tourist destination…but Singapore too has a substantial tourist arrival rate…Malacca also has a hight rate of local tourist from the north and South and from Singapore during weekends and public holidays.


    High population density as in the case for Thailand..but what about Indonesia which also has a high density rate ???

    Broke my head…


  3. Anonymous
    Aug 05, 2009 @ 22:42:02

    Dr. Hsu
    Thank for the updates.

    We as citizens and human must play a role in hygiene practise w this AH1N1.

    I just returned from a pharmacy in kampung permatang damar laut, the pharmacist told
    me that the malay population there oblivion of the imminent of AH1N1, its like “tidak apa”.

    I wonder how about other places in Malaysia.
    Same attitude?

    Sighhhhhh!!! when will this “bangsa” ever learn
    & conscious of health.


  4. James Lim
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 08:40:00

    Dr. Hsu,

    Do you think that this H1N1 is lab generated that of nature occurrence for the Pharmacist company to make money.

    From the probability, for a student to infected with the virus then board the aeroplane is 1 / total population of US. But Malaysia is able to get this 1 in a million jackpot.

    Statically, by normal occurrence if Malaysia student were to be so easily infected with this virus, this should mean at least the whole area or half area of the university is contaminated. Or possible all the places that the student went through may have the virus.


  5. karenleehs
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 21:27:03

    Can i seek some clarification? For a person who is on the high risk group, would you recommend pneumococcal vaccination?

    Those who had H1N1 and recovered, what sort of medication were given?

    Did they take the usual medication for cough and running nose like
    1) anti histamine eg Polaramine or Loratadine or Zyrtec?
    2) bronchiodilator eg salbutamol (Ventolin) or combivent, inhale or oral?
    3) something for the phelgm eg Rhinithiol or mucosolvent?
    4) steroid for the inflammation of the lung eg prednisolone or seretide?

    (these are the usual medication i have to give my 5 year old child when he has bronchitis….)

    It’s important to know what are the care they have taken after they got infected so that we know what to do…..

    What about those that died? Did they know the medication required to take?

    Thanks for your feedback…..


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