The Malaysian minister of health confirmed that last week’s outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) is now under control. The outbreak occurred at Kuala Nerang National Service camp in Kedah. No new cases have been reported since last Thursday.
Twenty-two trainees at the camp developed symptoms of flu early last week, and fifteen were hospitalized and treated with anti-viral medications. Other camp trainees were quarantined and asked to wear facemasks. Nearly all the trainees have recovered. Those who remain in the hospital are in stable condition.
The minister of health, Liow Tiong Lai, said there is no reason for concern among the trainees’ parents or the general population.
In 2009, Malaysia experienced a large outbreak of H1N1. Since then, over 2000 cases have been reported in the country. This outbreak was part of the world-wide H1N1 pandemic that occurred from 2009 to 2010.
Influenza A (H1N1) is a type of influenza originally called swine flu because of its close relation to the virus that infects pigs. Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to those of seasonal flu. Transmission occurs when an infected individual emits tiny virus-containing droplets through sneezes or coughs.
The CDC recommends seasonal flu vaccination, which includes protection against H1N1, as the best way to prevent disease outbreaks. There is currently no cure for H1N1 available.