An H1N1 virus outbreak rumour at a Perak primary school in Malaysia's Kuala Kangsar led to a drop in its attendance from 26 to 102 within a day. After a pupil showed flu symptoms on January 19, followed by another a day later, the school's attendance, which is usually 95 percent, dropped drastically.
SJK Tsung Wah school's headmistress Yeoh Kim Choon said that on January 25, only 26 out of 582 school students were absent. The number increased to 102 the next day.
The Headmistress clarified that only two pupils from Standard Five were actually suffering from the flu. They are presently resting at home.
However, after rumours spread about the flu's outbreak, parents are apprehensive in sending their children to school in fear of catching the virus. A memo has been issued by the school authorities, reassuring parents about the situation.
"There is nothing to panic," said Choon.
Perak Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr. Mah Hang Soon visited the school premises on Friday and confirmed that the Influenza A virus had affected only two pupils.
He told reporters that it is merely the common cold and there is nothing to be afraid of. He also advised the public to maintain good hygiene.
The H1N1 virus, often called commonly as the swine flu, results in symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, head and body aches and fatigue. It can be cured by drugs and vaccines, which are required only in the more complicated cases. The most recommended antiviral drugs are Tamiflu and Relenza.