Sufficient stock of influenza medicine at Health Ministry’s facilities

KUALA LUMPUR: There is sufficient stock of medicines to treat influenza infections at the Health Ministry’s facilities.

According to the ministry’s pharmaceutical service programme, in view of the spread of influenza in the country, the ministry has obtained additional supply of medicines from alternative suppliers to ensure adequate supply at its facilities.

“Currently, there is adequate stock of Oseltamivir 75mg Capsule and Oseltamivir 60mg/5ml Oral Suspension to meet the treatment for influenza at the ministry’s facilities,” it said.

Symptoms of influenza include persistent high fever, cough, joint and muscle pain and sore throat. Patients can also suffer life-threatening complications such as pneumonia, meningitis and asthma attacks if they do not seek treatment early.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement yesterday, said the pneumonia cluster that hit Wuhan, China, was still under investigation.

He said the Chinese authority however had confirmed that the infection was not influenza infection, avian flu, adenovirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

“The World Health Organisation notified that the incident was being properly monitored, but at the mean time they did not issue any prohibition on visiting and trading with China,“ he said.

He said the ministry is taking the matter seriously and will continue to monitor the situation.

The ministry has taken several measures to prevent the spread of the disease, namely:-

>> To inform all ministry officers, including at the exit to the country, on the cluster incident, as well as measures to prevent infecting the disease.

>> Emphasise and strengthen existing fever screening activities among travelers by officers on duty at the country’s exit.

>> Any traveler detected of having fever and experiencing symptoms, to be sent for check up at the health quarantine centre.

>> Screening at emergency department of health clinics and hospitals is enhanced for suspected cases.

>> The Health Ministry will continuously work together with all relevant agencies to enhance its preparedness and response in facing the potential spread of the disease in the country.

According to WHO, as of yesterday, a total of 59 cases identified in China were related to the cluster incident, with seven cases reported to be serious.

No death was reported and there was also no human to human transmission.

Investigation is still underway and a total of 121 close contacts of the cases were detected and put under surveillance. — Bernama