The actions of two general practitioners who mistakenly diagnosed a woman as suffering from influenza when she was infected with a deadly strain of malaria contributed to her death, a coroner's court jury ruled yesterday. The jury took just 40 minutes to deliver a unanimous verdict that negligence contributed to 32-year-old Akiko Chinen's death from natural causes. Chinen, a Cathay Pacific flight attendant, died on December 14 last year of cerebral malaria. The court heard Chinen, the mother of a 12-month-old girl, was bitten by a mosquito during an overnight safari to a game park outside Johannesburg in late November last year. She contracted a fatal form of falciparum malaria described to the court as a 'nasty' strain. Coroner William Lam Kui-po asked the jury to consider the evidence of tropical disease experts John Simon and Lai Sik-to, who testified that Chinen would still be alive if she had been asked her travel history by the doctors after learning that she was suffering from an unspecified fever. The inquest heard Chinen went to the Quality Health Care Medical Centre in Causeway Bay on December 7 and was treated by general practitioner Gilbert Tien who told her she 'probably had the flu' and gave her Panadol and lozenges. He did not ask where she had travelled to, although he knew she was a flight attendant. He told the inquest he would 'do the same' if a patient arrived at the centre suffering the same symptoms. Mr Lam said Dr Tien should have asked her to come back if she was not feeling better and had failed to take her temperature 'which was a simple procedure'. 'You may think that a patient is entitled to more than a clinical impression when seeing a doctor,' he said. Mr Lam also drew the jury's attention to the actions of Gavin Lau Chun-hung, a doctor at the centre who saw Chinen on December 10, the day before she was rushed to the Canossa Hospital in a disorientated and semi-conscious state. Chinen told Dr Lau she had had a high fever for four days along with chills, vomiting and diarrhoea. Mr Lam said Dr Simon had told the court chills were rare for flu but common in cases of malaria. The coroner said that following the well-publicised death of Briton Simon Davies from malaria five years ago doctors had been told they must ask the question 'have you been anywhere tropical' to patients displaying such symptoms. Davies died in the territory after returning from a trip to Myanmar when doctors failed to diagnose malaria. Mr Lam also said that a highly effective 'stick test' for malaria was available for around $50 which could give an immediate result. The jury made several recommendations after delivering its verdict. They included; encouraging doctors to ask patients for their travel histories, keeping records of patients suffering from fevers and better public education on certain diseases. Mr Lam extended the court's condolences to Chinen's husband, Christophe Vahlas. Outside court Mr Vahlas said that he would seek further legal advice before deciding whether or not to pursue a civil claim.