Risk of Community Rises Significantly in Singapore with Recent Confirmed Cases

Risk of Community Rises Significantly in Singapore with Recent Confirmed Cases

Risk of Community Rises Significantly in Singapore with Recent Confirmed
Cases of Influenza A (H1N1-2009)

Singapore has confirmed two more cases of Influenza A (H1N1-2009),
bringing the total number of confirmed cases here to 49. Unlike the earlier imported
cases, a number of the recent imported cases have engaged in extensive community
activities such as working, shopping and participating in mass activities since their
arrival here. Some have even travelled to Singapore even though they were already
unwell prior to departure. This is contrary to MOH’s advice that travellers who have
been to countries that have been considered by WHO to have sustained community
transmission or to be in transition towards community transmission, as well as
countries that have been reported to have exported cases (ie. Argentina, Australia,
Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Spain,
Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America) should immediately call 993 for
medical assistance if they feel unwell within seven days of arrival. The WHO has
also consistently advised against travel if one is unwell. Such behaviour has
considerably increased the difficulty of contact tracing and significantly heightened
the risk of community spread here in Singapore.

Details of Confirmed Cases

The breakdown of the 49 cases is as follows:

Country of Origin of Travel of Confirmed Cases (as of 16th June 2009)

Countries Number of cases

Australia 25
United States 16
Philippines 5
Thailand 1
Canada 1

Total 48

So far, 22 patients have been discharged. The remaining 27 patients (21st –
28th, 30th – 32nd, 34th – 49th cases) are still in the hospital and their conditions
remain stable.

48th Confirmed Case

The 48th case is a 56-year-old German man who works in Singapore as a
researcher at Biopolis. He went to Philadelphia, USA on 28 May to attend a
conference. He developed symptoms on 4 June while he was there. He returned to
Singapore on SQ15 via Seoul at 0100 hours on 8 June. He was seated at row 52.
He was not picked up by the thermal scanner at the airport as he did not have a
fever then. He took a taxi home from the airport, and stayed at home for the rest of
the day. He went to work from 9 to 12 June. On 11 June evening, he went to a
function at the French Ambassador’s Residence attended by about 70 persons. On
13 June, he went to a shopping mall and had social activities at Clarke Quay. On 14
June, he attended a concert and did more shopping. On 15 June, he did not go to
work in the morning and called a 993 ambulance to send him to CDC2 around noon
time. Laboratory results confirmed his infection at 2140 hours on 15 June.

49th Confirmed Case

The 49th case is a 26-year-old Indonesian man who works in Singapore. He
went to Melbourne with friends for a holiday on 5 June. He developed symptoms on
11 June while he was there. He returned to Singapore together with his companions
on SQ228 at 2133 hours on 14 June. He was seated at row 61, and was on the
same flight as the 43rd, 44th and 45th cases who were seated at row 43. He was not
picked up by the thermal scanner at the airport as he did not have a fever then. He
and his friend took a taxi home from the airport. On 15 June morning, he sought
medical attention at a GP clinic, and was given 2 days of medical leave. Before he
took a taxi to TTSH ED, he did some shopping first. Laboratory results confirmed his
infection at 2140 hours on 15 June.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is ongoing for the two cases. Passengers seated within rows
rows 59-63 on SQ228 on 14 June who have not been contacted by MOH yet should
call the MOH hotline at 1800-333 9999 to enable us to check on their health
condition expeditiously. All close contacts identified will be quarantined and provided
with antiviral prophylaxis. No contact tracing will be done for the close contacts on
SQ15 on 8 June as the seven day quarantine period from the last day of contact with
the 48th case has passed.

MOH Advisory to all travellers

For people who are planning to travel, they should check the MOH website for
the latest update on the list of countries with confirmed cases of H1N1 (refer to
Annex) so that they can make considered decisions on whether to proceed with their
travel plans. For more information on Influenza A (H1N1-2009), please access
MOH’s website at www.moh.gov.sg, call our hotline at 1800-333 9999, or visit
www.flu.gov.sg.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH
16 June 09

Selected List of Affected Countries with Confirmed H1N1 Cases
Country Cumulative total
Newly confirmed
since the last
reporting period
Cases Deaths Cases Deaths
Countries with community spread and / or known to have exported cases
United States of America # 17855 45 4638 18
Mexico # 6241 108 0 0
Canada # 2978 4 0 0
Australia # 1823 0 221 0
Chile # 1694 2 0 0
United Kingdom # 1226 0 404 0
Japan 605 0 56 0
Spain # 488 0 0 0
Argentina # 343 0 0 0
Panama # 272 0 0 0
Philippines # 193 0 0 0
Thailand # 150 0 21 0
Dominican Republic # 93 1 2 0

Selected countries with confirmed cases
China 318 0 100 0
Germany 170 0 75 0
New Zealand 86 0 28 0
France 80 0 7 0
Italy 67 0 11 0
Korea, Republic of 65 0 6 0
Singapore 49 0 2 0
Vietnam 25 0 2 0
Switzerland 22 0 2 0
India 16 0 7 0
Malaysia 5 0 0 0

# Countries with known exported cases

I really do not understand how people can be so IRRESPONSIBLE!!!!!

With symptoms developed on June 4, why didn’t this person (48th case) quarantined himself for a week in Philadelphia, USA? He still travel (via Airplane and taxi), work, attend a function, shopping, socialing at Clark Quay AND attend concert! How many MORE cases will this Number 48 creates? The number of people who may come into contact with this person may be more than 100!!!! AND this group of people may not have travel oversea and may not realise that they were “contacted” by the 48th case and yet they may be infected with H1N1 now! The questions asked in the hospitals, clinics, etc. will be irrelevant now, as these people have not travel oversea, but may be infected with H1N1!

MELBOURNE was reported on 6 June that it was the swine-flu capital of the world, with the H1N1 virus twice as prevalent in the Victorian population as it is in Mexico. Yet one still choose to go for a holiday there! Then when there is any symptom, shouldn’t the GP take his blood test, did he mention that he was in Melbourne to the GP? Since he may suspect that he is infected (from the News report, he took a taxi to TTSH ED), why didn’t he call a 993 ambulance instead? And still go shopping before he go to TTSH ED!!!!

The global outbreak of influenza A virus subtype H1N1, was identified in April 2009! With all the information going around the world so fast; for 1 and a half month, everyone in every corner of the world would have heard of this influenza!

What are these people thinking? Unaware of H1N1? With GSS, the person next to you (or me) may have contacted 48th and / or 49th who had been SHOPPING!!! And this (these) person may not have fever (yet) and may not even know he / she is infected! Thanks to the irresponsible people!

According to WHO, “the virus typically spreads from coughs and sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the nose or mouth.” So hopefully, no one has cough and / or sneeze near you, and / or you do not have a habit of touching your nose and / or mouth! If I were to have any flu like symptoms from now, I will request for a blood test, only when I know I am not infected then I will continue my daily routine! I really do not want to be one of those who spread the virus!

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