DOH reports two news cases in Cebu being observed for suspected A(H1N1)

May 21, 2009 2:44 am 

By Francis Jay M. Bilowan

MANILA, May 20 – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday identified two new cases under observation (CUOs) in Cebu for alleged symptoms of Influenza A(H1N1).

Dr. Vito Roque of the DOH's National Epidemiology Center said the two cases include a five-year-old Japanese boy and a 42-year-old male, who both arrived from Japan.

Roque said they are now quarantined in a hospital in Cebu pending the results of their laboratory tests.

The two new cases brought the number of CUOs quarantined for suspected symptoms of A(H1N1) to three.

The DOH said the results of their swab tests will be released on Thursday.

The DOH had already cleared 65 CUOs. Although all of them have been discharged from hospitals, their observations are still ongoing just in case the persons manifest flu symptoms in the coming days.

The government has called on health personnel and local government units to enhance the monitoring of influenza-like illness at the community level to ensure that a possible outbreak of A(H1N1) is detected early and control measures are implemented immediately.

Even though the Philippines remains Influenza A(H1N1)-free to date, the DOH reminded all concerned agencies to continuously be on alert against the possible entry of Influenza A(H1N1) to the country in all ports of entry.

“All incoming passengers from countries with confirmed Influenza A(H1N1) should closely monitor their health status for 10 days from arrival. Should they develop flu-like signs and symptoms, they are advised to seek medical consult early for prompt testing for Influenza A(H1N1) and for immediate institution of proper medical management,” the DOH said.

The DOH said the threat of the viral infection to the country is present because in the Western Pacific region, there are already six countries affected – Malaysia, China, Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

“With all of our concerted efforts, let us do our very best in maintaining the Philippines Influenza A(H1N1)-free,” it added.

Though the World Health Organization has reported 9,830 confirmed Influenza A(H1N1) cases in 40 countries as of May 19, only five new deaths were reported. The case fatality remains below 1 percent.

On the cases of CUOs in the Philippines, those that were tested had history of travel from the following countries with confirmed influenza A (H1N1) cases: Australia, Canada, China (Mainland), HongKong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Globally, the World Health Organization has reported three new countries with confirmed cases of Influenza A(H1N1): India, Malaysia and Turkey. (PNA) LAP/FMB

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