Palace says no reason to panic as A/H1N1 flu cases rise to 21

June 2, 2009 1:28 pm 

By Joel C. Atencio

MANILA, June 2, – Malacañang said anew on Tuesday that there’s no reason to panic as the confirmed Influenza A/H1N1 cases rose to 21.

”There is still no cause for the public to panic. The government and the health authorities are on top of the situation,” said Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who was joined by Presidential Spokesman for Political Affairs Gabriel Claudio in Tuesday’s news briefing at the New Executive Building in San Miguel, Manila.

Claudio said the presence of cases in the country was not at an alarming level. “It’s nothing as alarming as other countries. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made sure that the health of the Filipinos will be in good hands before she left for South Korea and Russia,” he said.

Reports reaching Malacañang said that there was still no community-level outbreak in the country.

National Epidemiology Center (NEC) head Dr. Eric Tayag said a four-level warning system was in place to deal with the problem.

Tayag said earlier a response system in a scale of 1 to 4.

As of Tuesday morning, there is no case of A/H1N1 in schools.

Tayag said the only time schools would shut down was if there were a wide community-level outbreak.

The DOH has monitored a total of 345 CUOs (cases under observation). Of these, 21 are positive A/H1N1 cases, 32 have pending laboratory results, and 292 were negative and have been discarded. There are 20 new COUs as of today.

World Health Organization (WHO) latest reports show 1,900 new A/H1N1 cases and 16 deaths. The new deaths were from Mexico and the United States.

There are now a total of 17,410 cases and 115 deaths from 62 reporting countries. New countries which have confirmed H1N1 cases are the Bahamas, Bolivia, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Jamaica, Paraguay, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) also cautioned school officials Tuesday to be vigilant against the so-called WILD diseases during the rainy season. These diseases include Water-borne diseases, Influenza, Leptospirosis and Dengue, all of which cause more deaths and diseases than A/H1N1.

“Wild diseases have been around longer than A/H1N1 and affects young children particularly during this time of year. Actually, proper hand washing and good respiratory manner will protect our children not only from A/H1N1 but also for most of these diseases,” Duque ssaid.

Duque said that the DOH was set to launch its nationwide campaign against dengue Wednesday in anticipation of the increasing number of cases from June until the end of the year.

This campaign advocates the Four-S strategy against dengue: Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, Self-protection, Seek early consultation and Saying Yes to fogging only during outbreaks. (PNA)

RMA/JCA

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