A health officer wearing a protective mask stands next to an infection control notice at a hospital in Penang.

The first dread of the H1N1 Swine flu pandemic has finally hit Malaysian land. 

Malaysia confirmed on Friday its first case of H1N1 flu, the country's top health official said.

"I can confirm (that it) is the first case in Malaysia," Health Director General Ismail Merican told AFP. His confirmation followed a statement from the health ministry giving details of the country's first case.

"The patient is a 21-year-old male student who had just returned from the United States on May 13, 2009 and who was down with fever, sore throat and body aches on May 14," it said.

"This is the first A (H1N1) flu case found in Malaysia," the statement added.

It said the patient went into the Sungai Buloh quarantine facility in central Selangor state on the same evening and is now in a stable condition.

It urged all passengers who travelled on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH091 from Newark in the United States to Kuala Lumpur that landed at 7.15am on May 13 to contact the ministry for further instructions.

The ministry said it had so far received 11 flu-like cases for investigation with all the patients warded and isolated for monitoring.

"All these cases showed symptoms of flu and had a history of visiting countries infected with the outbreak (but) all their clinical samples had been sent to institute for medical research for lab tests and tested negative," it said.

On Tuesday, the government urged its citizens to defer travel to the US, Mexico, Canada, Spain and Britain following reported cases of H1N1 flu in those countries.

Health authorities have installed 20 thermal scanners at the country's entry points to help detect cases, with 9,324 passengers screened so far.

The latest World Health Organisation figures show the number of laboratory-confirmed H1N1 flu cases worldwide is 6,497 in 33 countries.

A total of 65 people have died from the disease, most of them in Mexico, WHO figures show.

Source: Channel News Asia