Malaysia shuts school with three swine flu cases: report
Malaysia Sunday shut down a Chinese-language elementary school in the capital after an 11-year-old girl infected two classmates with swine flu, according to reports here.
Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai told the influential Star daily’s website the Jalan Davidson Chinese School would be closed until June 26 with its 1,200 staff and students facing home quarantine.
“It is our opinion that we should close the school. As long as there is even one case of local transmission, we must take precaution and close the school,” he was quoted as telling the Star.
“We don’t want to have any problems in that school so we have to make sure the safety of the children comes first,” he added.
Liow said the 11-year-old girl had tested positive for A(H1N1) after returning from a family holiday in Australia and had unknowingly infected two classmates before being diagnosed with the virus.
An aide to the minister confirmed the comments but declined to elaborate further.
Eight new cases of swine flu were reported Sunday, according to the health ministry, bringing the total number in Malaysia to 50.
The new cases include two other students from local schools with Liow saying that schools with infected students would be monitored closely and closed only if authorities found local transmission of the disease, the web portal reported.
Last week, Malaysian health authorities reported the country’s first local transmission of the A(H1N1) virus after a 17-year-old girl who had no travel history caught the flu from another patient who had tested positive a week earlier.