Health official: Zambo is free from swine flu

May 1, 2009 11:17 am 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 30 –- A local health official said Zamboanga City remains safe from swine flu.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos attributed this to the ongoing surveillance in place at the Zamboanga City Medical Center and Puericulture Hospital where random samplings are taken from patients with influenza-like symptoms.

“We started this surveillance a year ago even before the swine flu broke out. We send the findings to Manila for further test and we get results regularly,” Agbulos said.

“It is through this surveillance that we know and we can say that Zamboanga City is safe from swine flue,” he added.

Agbulos described swine flu as influenza or viral infections on pigs which originated in Mexico where more than 150 human deaths have been reported.

The virus has spread to the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, France and other European countries.

Agbulos said the Philippines and other Asian countries are aware of the pandemic and close monitoring is being done in all ports of entry.

He said the viral influenza originates from pig and once transmitted to pigs it mutates and transmitted to human.

“Once a person is infected with the disease it spreads to another person, thus human-to-human transmission occurs,” he said.

Agbulos said the swine influenza is H1N1 type of virus which has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to heighten its pandemic alert level phase 5, which means that that a full pandemic is imminent.

The health official advised the public to observe proper hygiene to protect themselves against swine flu virus.

Agbulos also advised the public to avoid close contact with sick people and avoid touching the mouth, nose, or eyes, and to stay at home if they are sick.

“Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash afterward,” he said.

He said that in humans, the symptoms of swine flue are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. (PNA) FFC/TPG/mec

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