Tuesday, 25 August 2009

3-day antiviral treatment is too late

August 25, 2009 17:16 PM

Death Of Child Raises H1N1 Flu Death Toll To 70

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 (Bernama) -- A three-year-old child has died of
Influenza A(H1N1), raising to 70 the death toll from the disease in
the country.

Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said Tuesday
the child died on Aug 18 of encephalitis with cerebral odema and multi-
organ failure.

He also said that 52 new cases of Influenza-like illness (ILI) were
admitted to hospitals while 162 ILI patients were discharged, leaving
1,354 ILI patients still under treatment in 82 hospitals nationwide.

Dr Mohd Ismail said in a statement that treatment was first
administered to the child on Aug 12 after suffering from fits and
cough for two days.

However, the following day, the child's condition worsened, requiring
admission to the intensive care unit and treatment with the anti-viral
drug, Tamiflu, he said.
This is another evidence that after 48 hours, Tamilflu is not longer
effective in preventing death.

It should be administered within 2 days on the onset of fever. This is
what I had requested for my son, and fortunately I got it.

In the first 2 days, the fever was mild I noticed that on the second
day, he coughed heavily, like never before, for the first time.

Because I was worried, I went to SMC immediately. I think it should be
before the 48 hours. I argued that my 13 year old son shouldn't get
the normal flu because he was already vaccinated at SMC with normal
flu vaccine, more than 2 weeks ago, at least with 99.9% probablility
that he should not be getting any normal flu.

Also I argued that my wife is suffering from SLE, and used to be
treated with steroids, and all this is recorded at SMC where she was

On doctor's inspection, the fever was confirmed although still light,
and his lung has evidence of puss(kahak in Malay).

And I know him quite well and this Tamilflu is provided free of
charge, although I was more than willing to pay for it.

Today, my son is alright. His red eye has disappered as well his puss
in his throat, his runny nose and cough. He may not have suffered from
Swine Flu, but Tamilflu is surely effective, which is further evidence
that what he got was Swine flu.

It was mild and my son had no underlying diseases, but based on death
cases even in Malaysia, in 5 days, it could turn suddenly worse and
cause death within 2 days after that. And in Lancaster, UK, a 50 year
old with no underlying diseases died, because he was advised by
authorities to just stay at home and not get any Tamilflu. It led to
his death, but a reduction in the prescriptions of Tamilflu.

At the cost of RM120, is it worth the life of a human being? And
despite having evidences that only 10% of those given Tamilflu were
really Swine Flu cases in UK, those other 90% are still better served
by Tamilflu by reducing their sufferings, just as my son is at the

The reduction in symptoms studies due to Tamilflu by just 1.5 days for
healthy people, but for these people, they only need to suffer for at
most 3 days even without Tamilflu. A reduction of 1.5 days is a
reduction of suffering of 50%, a significant contribution.

The study didn't cover not so healthy people who may suffer deaths if
not given Tamilflu. This was not studied so cannot be relied on to
stop the prescription of Tamilflu for even healthy people for
suspected Swine Flu cases. The consequences is heavy, i.e. deaths for
even healthy people, because statistics shows that 50% of the deaths
in UK have no underlying diseases, while it is only 20% in Malaysia.
Even 20% is siginicant, especially when it is you family that is
affected, all for the saving of RM120?


Dr Mohd Ismail said that of the 1,345 patients in hospital, only 202
or 15 per cent had been confirmed as H1N1 positive, and 42 of these
cases were under intensive care.

"Of the 42 cases under intensive care, 38 are in the risk category,
having chronic illnesses (15), being obese (nine), suffering from
diabetes (six), being children or infants (three), women who were
pregnant or in the post-delivery period (three) or suffering from
Down's syndrome (two)," he said.

Dr Mohd Ismail said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had reported a
total of 239,397 H1N1 cases with 2,578 deaths worldwide as of today,
indicating that the pandemic was still active.


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