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Brunei In Grip Of Second H1N1 Wave

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  • Brunei In Grip Of Second H1N1 Wave

    Spike in cases over last two months

    Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei Darussalam reported a second wave of the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic (the highest figure) last month (February) with 775 cases as the first wave in July last year saw 758 cases.

    From March 1 to 23, the country has reported 473 cases and 133 classes in schools have been closed since January this year. In comparison, 234 classes were closed for the 4 whole of last year. Also, in January this year, the country saw only 120 cases of H1N1.

    Until March 15 this year, 42,249 people have been vaccinated against H1N1 in Brunei.

    Director of Health Services Dr Hjh Maslina bte Hj Mohsin disclosed these details in her talk at the national seminar for religious scholars and experts on influenza A (H1N1).

    She said H1N1 has affected 213 countries worldwide with at least 16,813 deaths (until March 14). It is most active in Southeast Asia though it was also recorded in Europe, America and Africa.

    Brunei first recorded case of H1N1 was on June 20, 2009. The country underwent control phase from March till July 2009 and later mitigation phase from July 25, 2009. So far, one death has been recorded.

    Lab tests focused on random surveillance and certain patients only like those who developed serious symptoms and were warded at the hospital or front line hospital staff as they could infect other patients. Mitigation phase did not require quarantine order for patients and close family members.

    She also said that there is no preference on gender with regards to H1N1 cases in the Sultanate with Brunei-Muara District recording the highest number of cases due to its high population density followed by Belait, Tutong and Temburong. It is predominant among young adults.

    Many of the cases reported have shown only mild symptoms and most of them recovered without any medical treatment.

    She also highlighted the country's pandemic plan namely surveillance, prevention and disease control, management of patient treatment, logistics and technical assistance, lab assistance, media and communications, human resource development and disease control.

    Meanwhile an invited speaker, Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid from Penang Consumer Association, Malaysia applauded the move made by Brunei in organising the seminar, which is the first of its kind in the Islamic world.
    His working paper touched on the need to be alert on food and pork-based products and spoke on the need to strengthen, widen, expand health education and on intoxicating substances among the public, review policy, enhance scientific findings with Syarie in containing the pandemic, review diet policy, promote and practise food intake according to Islam.

    Others included educating licence issuers, food producers and businesses on Islamic requirement, to set up regional cooperation to enhance awareness and on integrated actions in Asean and the world in general, to contain the pandemic, to create awareness among the Ummah and to be proactive in protecting all the sources of calamities by embracing Islam.

    He said gelatin, which has pork contents, is found in most products. Gelatin is an ingredient used in the food industry and medicine due to its unique nature. Its use has been widened to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and technical. Without gelatin some products cannot be produced.

    Among the products that contain gelatin includes confectionaries such as sweets, chocolates, pudding, cake and pie, flavoured pastels, yoghurt, cheese and butter, ice cream, mouth freshner, chewing gum, and processed meat products

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