SEREMBAN: Blood samples of a 15-year-old student who died of a viral infection at the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital on Saturday have been sent to the Institute of Medical Research to determine the actual cause of death.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said Sunday doctors at the hospital found that Chan Hui Ven’s death was caused by meningoencephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.
Hui Ven, a student at Chung Hua High School here, had been warded since Wednesday. Her condition was already serious and she was semi-conscious when she was brought to the hospital.
“She was apparently receiving treatment elsewhere before she was brought to the hospital. Doctors prescribed antibiotics but she did not respond,” Liow said.
He said those afflicted with meningoencephalitis would normally recover after being given antibiotics.
Citing an example, he said there were no casualties when more than 100 trainees at the Road Transport Department’s training academy in Tiang Dua were hit by meningococcal meningitis.
Liow said Hui Ven was believed to have travelled before she fell ill.
Coincidentally, her school was ordered closed from July 6 to 12 after another 15-year-old student tested positive for influenza A (H1N1).
However, Liow was quick to add that the two cases were not connected.
“Although this is an isloated case, we need to establish what she was actually infected with. A person can get infected with meningoencephalitis if he or she comes into contact with polluted water or unhygienic surroundings,” he said.
Liow said his ministry viewed the matter seriously as it did not want an outbreak.
“I have been told that there have been deaths caused by meningoencephalitis in the past. Although this is the first case in Seremban this year, we are going to take all preventive measures to ensure it does not spread,” he added.
Liow later visited Hui Ven’s family to convey his condolences.
Will this bocome first death case because of H1N1?