BBC News reported earlier today that UN officials have called for an emergency meeting to discuss the swine flu (also known as H1N1) today. There has been strong talk of a declaration of the first global flu pandemic in more than 40 years.
According to the BBC online news service, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the meeting after the recent surge in number of H1N1 cases in Australia. In a related development, Hong Kong has announced it was closing all nurseries and primary schools for two weeks after 12 students tested positive for the virus.
A quick check on the local Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia portal quotes the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) as saying that : “Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia ingin memaklumkan bahawa negara Malaysia adalah bebas daripada penularan influenza A(H1N1). Oleh itu, pelawat-pelawat luar negara dan juga penduduk Malaysia tidak perlu bimbang kerana negara ini selamat“ – 11/6/09.
According to the reports, there are a total of 51 countries with confirmed cases of H1N1 up till yesterday (10/6/09). Malaysia’s name is NOT in the list.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has details and regular updates on the swine flu outbreak.
While the MOH has clearly said that we need not be unduly worried, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if if we could all be a little more vigilant and practice better and cleaner personal hygiene, especially in the light of developments in countries around us.
1830 Hours: Here is an update on the situation in Malaysia:
Malaysia Insider reports that Malaysia is ready if WHO declares a pandemic. Go here to read the full news. Thailand, too, confirms 30 new H1N1 cases.