Influenza A(H1N1) : Belum reda serata dunia

Alert Level 6: Full-blown flu pandemic
Jun 11, 09 10:15pm
The World Health Organisation today declared as pandemic the outbreak of the A(H1N1) influenza, raising its alert to the maximum level six.

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The crisis has escalated into the world’s first influenza pandemic in 40 years after infecting tens of thousands of people in 74 countries.

WHO director general Margaret Chan said the declaration of a “moderate” pandemic should not spark panic and did not mean the death toll from A(H1N1), which currently stands at 144, would rise sharply.

swine flu pandemicThe UN body said it was not recommending the closure of borders nor restrictions in movement of people, goods and services. But it warned the virus was spreading beyond the Americas where it was first detected in April.

“We will be raising our pandemic alert level to level six; and this means that the world is moving into the early days of its first influenza pandemic in the 21st century,” Chan told reporters after a meeting of scientific experts.

“At this time, the global assessment is that we are seeing a moderate pandemic,” she added.

The WHO raised its six-phase alert level to five at the end of April, indicating an imminent pandemic.

The latest WHO figures show that the number of reported A(H1N1) infections has reached 28,774 in 74 countries, including 144 deaths.

swine flu pandemic alert level chartThe vast majority of the deaths have been in Mexico, the original epicentre of the outbreak, and no deaths have been announced outside the Americas.

“Moving to pandemic phase six level does not imply we will see increase in number of deaths or very severe cases,” said Chan.

“Quite on the contrary, many people having mild disease will recover without medicine in some cases, and it is good news, but the tendency to move into complacency is our biggest concern,” she added.

Pandemic could last up to 2 years

Chan said the health agency is concerned that the virus is causing “very severe disease disproportionately” among people 30 to 50 years old.

WHO assistant director general Keiji Fukuda warned the pandemic could last up to two years.

“For a period for one to two years the virus is going around the world, and is getting people infected in a way a pandemic virus will get people infected… We need to be flexible how we respond to it,” said Fukuda.

japan close down school swine flu h1n1 pandemic 190509 01The declaration comes amid growing evidence that the virus, which originated in Mexico two months ago, is now being widely transmitted between humans in Asia and Europe as well as the Americas.

EU officials promised measures on Thursday to reduce the impact of swine flu as Spain said 22 schools in the Madrid region had been hit by the virus.

The United States said it was well prepared to tackle the pandemic as it had been taking precautionary measures.

“We acted aggressively to stay ahead of the virus as it spread across the country. Now our challenge is to prepare for a possible return in the fall,” Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

swine flu outbreak 130509 04Hong Kong authorities today ordered all primary schools in the city to be closed for two weeks after the first cluster of local swine flu cases was found in the Chinese territory.

In Germany, a school for Japanese youngsters in the western city of Duesseldorf was closed after 27 children tested positive for the virus. And in Australia, four swine flu victims were admitted to intensive care wards.

11 confirmed cases in Malaysia

Malaysia has reported 11 A(H1N1) cases so far, but there has not been any fatalities.

Following WHO announcement, the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies were mobilising to respond to the pandemic.

japan close down school swine flu h1n1 pandemic 190509 02Chan (left) said that it was up to individual countries to decide how to proceed given the outbreak was now classified as a pandemic.

“The global level assessment is very different from national level assessment because it has to take into account the vulnerability of the population in a specific country and also the health system resilience,” she said.

Although no vaccine against A(H1N1) has yet to be produced, drug companies are looking to come up with one by the end of June or early July and last month sent three “seed viruses” to drug companies for use in making a vaccine.

Chan said the WHO would ask drug-makers to quickly prepare to produce swine flu vaccines once the production of seasonal flu shots ends in the next couple of weeks.

The last flu pandemic came after an outbreak of the H3N2 viral strain from 1968-69, which originated in Hong Kong, and went on to kill up to two million people.


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Kesihatan: Sejuta Rakyat Malaysia sakit kronik

Bagaimana sekiranya di masa akan datang  jawatan Menteri Kesihatan itu disandang oleh wanita pula …?

Ia dicadangkan bukan sebagai penyelesaian simplistik, tetapi dalam kajian-kajian saintifik, pada umumnya wanita memang berupaya memastikan kebajikan dan sebarang perkara yang berkaitan dengannya terpelihara dengan baik.   Dalam era yang mementingkan profesionalisme yang tinggi, ada wanita yang mampu untuk bekerja secara sistemik dan smart.

Oleh itu barangkali, Menteri Kesihatan, khususnya bila Pakatan Rakyat Memerintah nanti akan dilantik seorang wanita ahli politik sebagai Menteri Kesihatan.

Sebenarnya, jika Kementerian Kesihatan benar-benar berorientasikan kepentingan rakyat, rakyat Malaysia kini sudah menikmati taraf perkhidmatan yang berklas dunia  – dengan pengalaman Umno-BN memerintah negara selama lebih 50 tahun.   Nampaknya sia-sia saja berbilion ringgit hangus kerana perancangan kesihatan rakyat yang entah apa-apa dirancang oleh Umno-BN.   Yang jelas kelihatan ialah penswastaan berbagai perkhidmatan kesihatan yang telah dan akan terus menguntungkan segelintir elit yang rapat dengan mereka yang berkuasa.

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Survey: 1 mil M’sians suffer from chronic pain
Joe Fernandez | Jun 1, 09 1:20pm
One million Malaysians are in various states of chronic pain – back and neck pain, arthritis, cancer, or migraine – which lead to depression, insomnia, fear, or in a constant state of irritability, says a survey.

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hiv aids sick patient 230507 handsThe recently completed National Health and Morbidity Survey III, conducted by the Public Health Institute under the Ministry of Health, showed that out of the one million aged 18 and above – or seven percent of the population – are chronic pain sufferers.

About 82 percent of these sufferers said pain interferes with their daily lives.

Chronic pain is generally defined as persistent pain which lasts three months or more, or pain that persists after the injury has healed.

Those in chronic pain state would feel suffering, insomnia, anxiety, depression, frustration, suicidal risks and thoughts, fatigue and immobility, etc, said Dr Roland Chia, executive chairman of Rafflesia Medical Centre in Kota Kinabalu.

This can result in being home- or wheelchair-bound, loss of job, family and community status, he added.

Prolonged pain leads to lung collapse

“Studies have shown that there is under-treatment for both acute pain and chronic pain. About 40 to 50 percent of patients in routine practice fail to achieve adequate pain relief,” said Chia after the establishment of Malaysia’s second private pain management clinic (PMC) in Kota Kinabalu last weekend.

hospital patients in bedThe purpose of PMC, he said, is to educate patients that pain was not to be held in themselves but should be controlled and relieved effectively and the sooner the better.

He added that 50 percent of patients had to change physicians to achieve pain relief because the physician was unwilling to treat pain aggressively, did not take patients’ complaints seriously, or had inadequate knowledge about pain treatment.

“At certain times, it was the failure of the patients themselves to ask for pain relief. They bore the pain in the hope that it would eventually heal by itself.”

“The longer patients bear the pain, the higher the risk of complications. This includes higher blood pressure, lung collapse, pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis and chronic pain state.”

Common states of pain noted include back and neck pain, headache, migraine, arthritis, sciatica, post-shingles pain, neuralgias, diabetic nerve pain, muscle bone joint pain, knee and shoulder pain, heel and ankle pain, abdominal pain, ischemic pain, chest pain (rib fracture), facial pain, nerve pain (neuropathic pain) and cancer pain, the last being one of the worst forms.

Malaysia’s second private pain clinic

kota kinabalu hospital patients transferred to beautfort sabah 170309The set-up of PMC in Kota Kinabalu would be Malaysia’s second such private pain clinic. The first was at Sunway Medical Centre in Selangor. Five other such clinics are at government hospitals in Selayang, Ipoh, Kota Baru, Johor Baru and Malacca.

PMC is headed by resident orthopaedic surgeon Dr Choong Leong Tong who acknowledges that pain is the body’s way of alerting that something is wrong. Even so, it is important to prevent pain before it gets a kick start and turn into a state or syndrome of chronic disease.

Because many clinicians presumed they “knew all about pain”, the relief and management of pain was often erratic, inconsistent and inadequate.

“The most important thing is to accept the pain problem and get rid of negative and unhelpful emotions like anger and frustration before moving on to a new future,” said PMC’s visiting Pain Medicine Specialist Dr Murray Taverner from Frankston Hospital in Australia.

The concept of self-management with assistance in dealing with pain consists of a positive attitude in helping patients, followed by medication and if necessary, intervention to help the patient to get the best outcome.

hospital heart surgery patientsActive self-management techniques, according to Taverner, include relaxation, distraction, problem-solving, task simplification and easier, and new ways to do things.

“We can teach the patients how to set priorities, establish goals and how to change the focus away from the pain to what he can do about managing life with the pain. It’s a total turnaround,” he added.

“The simple fact is being fit and active, and continue to be active will keep most people out of a wheelchair. Exercise is really very important – some forms of tai chi, yoga, or meditation helps. It is important to gradually increase the amount of exercise,” said Dr Taverner.

“Many people become very unfit because they are so afraid of injury that they do less and less activity until they do nothing.”

Dr Taverner said that reasonable exercise does not cause injury and “in fact most injury occurs from under activity”.