Tuesday, October 19

Umno campaigner stricken with H1N1

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KOTA KINABALU: A volunteer campaigning for Umno candidate in the Kimanis by-election here has contracted the Influenza A H1N1 virus.

Federal Territories Umno Puteri chief Nor Bhaiti Mohd Sabar said the volunteer, Nurul Hazwani Haslan @ Awin, fell ill while working in Membakut town and tested positive for H1N1.

“She is currently receiving medical attention at Kota Kinabalu Gleneagles Hospital where she has been warded since last night,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Nor Bhaiti urged other election workers to take care when carrying out their duties and to be on the watch for flu-like symptoms.

“While we maintain that the struggle is our main cause, we also need to make our health a priority,” she said.

“We hope that Awin recovers soon,” she added.

Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin urged the Health Department to look into the case and investigate to see if this was an isolated case or part of a larger outbreak.

“We fear that it could spread if not monitored,” he added.

Last month, Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said eight children in Sabah had tested positive for H1N1 as of December 29.

Poon added that influenza, which is a seasonal infection of the respiratory system, presents with symptoms of the flu, sore throat, loss of appetite, headache, muscle and joint pain, and lethargy.

The airborne virus is highly infectious.

Malaysia and other countries in the region are already on heightened alert after an unknown flu virus wreaked havoc in parts of China and triggered concerns that a repeat of the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in the region.