Classes have been suspended for 10 days, beginning today, June 4, at the De La Salle University-Taft campus, after a foreign student was found positive with A(H1N1) virus.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the student is 21 years old, female, and arrived in the Philippines last May 12. The symptoms manifested last May 29, after the 10-day period for self-quarantine. Her classmates and teachers in the four classes she attended are being contacted; meanwhile, students and faculty of DLSU-Taft are enjoined to stay at home during the 10-day suspension of classes.
The DLSU hotline is 526-5913.
Duque said there is still no third generation transmission in the Philippines. So far, the new virus appears to be mild, as most patients recover. He reiterated that people should cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze, and wash their hands often, as the virus is transmitted through droplets. These are expelled when one sneezes, coughs or talks. Read on for DOH update no. 32 and notes taken during the press conference.
Influenza A (H1N1) Update No. 32
DUQUE LAUDS DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY MANILA FOR VOLUNTARILY SUSPENDING CLASSES AFTER STUDENT TURNS POSITIVE FOR A (H1N1)
June 03, 2009
DOH Secretary Duque today lauded school authorities of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila at Taft Avenue for implementing a self-imposed temporary suspension of classes for 10 days beginning today after an international exchange student tested positive for Influenza A (H1N1).
This is in consonance with Response Level 3 of the Guidelines on A (H1N1) for schools which state that school authorities should suspend classes after detection of at least one confirmed case and there is no sustained community transmission.
The new confirmed case is a 21 year-old female foreign student who arrived in the country last May 12. According to DLSU officials, classes officially started on May 25 for the first trimester of this school year. The foreign student only reported very mild symptoms on May 29 which came to the attention of school authorities.
The student consulted a health facility on May 31where she was examined and tested for the presence of the virus through a throat swab. The specimen turned positive for A (H1N1) as confirmed today by RITM.
Duque said that the DOH is currently investigating and doing contact tracing to see if there were other exposed individuals related to this new case. Initial findings reveal that there is very limited exposure of other students to the confirmed case and that both DOH and school authorities can trace them.
Meanwhile, Duque already met the officials of DLSU to discuss the situation and come up with the next steps to prevent the spread of the virus to other students, faculty and other school staff.
Brother Armin Luistro FSC, President and Chancellor of the De La Salle University, expressed his full cooperation with the DOH on the ongoing containment measures and said that DLSU will immediately invoke the recommended measures contained in the Response Level System in Schools initially released by the DOH last May 31.
Starting tomorrow, June 4, classes will be suspended at the University and will last until June 14 in accordance with the guidelines set by the DOH.
The De La Salle University has already informed the students and faculty who were in the same class as the confirmed case to do self-monitoring of symptoms at home and to report immediately at designated hotlines if they become ill.
Meanwhile, Secretary Duque appealed to these students and school staff to temporarily avoid going to malls and other crowded areas during the period of class suspension.
As a precautionary measure, although they do not belong to the affected classes, all other students, faculty and personnel of DLSU should consider self-monitoring and avoiding crowded gatherings as well.
Secretary Duque thanked the officials of DLSU for keeping their school clinic open for any consultation during the period of class suspension. Students and faculty are therefore advised to report any symptom at this clinic which will in turn refer the cases to designated DOH referral facilities when necessary.
To date, the total number of confirmed cases of a (H1N1) in the country is now at 22.
Duque said that the three previously reported confirmed cases will be discharged today. To date, 14 of the 22 confirmed cases have already been sent home.
Since May 1, 2009, the DOH has monitored a total of 401 CUOs. Of these, 22 are positive A(H1N1) cases, 78 have pending laboratory results, and 301 are negative for A(H1N1) and have been discarded. There are 56 new Cases Under Observation (CUOs) today.
In their latest report, the World Health Organization reported 1,900 new cases and 16 deaths. There are now a total of 17,410 cases and 115 deaths from 62 reporting countries.
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY A (H1N1) Hotline: 526-5913
DOH Hotline : 711-1001 / 711-1002
notes on presser:
Atty. Julito vitriolo, ched exec dir
Bro. armin luistro – pres chancellor-dlsu
Sec duque iii
Dr. Mario villaverde
duque: After an International exchange student tested positive for ah1n1 in consonance with level3 of guidelines…suspend classes after detection of at least one case, no community transmission…21 yr old female foreign student who arrived in country. Classes started may 25 for first trimester. Very mild symptoms on may 29 which came to attention of school facilities…examined and tested…positive, confirmed today by ritm. We are currently investigating and doing contact tracing to see if there were other exposed individuals related…initial findings reveal there were limited exposure of other students…earlier today, already met with officials of dlsu to discuss situation and came up with next steps to prevent spread of virus to other students, faculty and school staff…dlsu invoke the recommended measures…released by doh last may21. Starting june 4 classes suspended in university and last until june14…informed those in same class to do self monitoring…and report to designated hotlines if they become ill…appeal to dlsu school staff and students to avoid going to malls and other crowded areas during period of suspension…all other students, faculty and personnel of dlsu should do self monitoring and avoid crowded gatherings as well. School clinic open during period of suspension.
Total number is now at 22. Three previously reported confirmed cases – 15 16 and 19 discharged…since may 1 doh monitored 401 cuos and of these 22 positive…78 pending lab results and 301 negative and discarded. There are 56 new cases under observation today. In latest report, who reported 1908 new cases…now 17410 cases and 115 deaths from 62 reporting countries. 526 5913. Dlsu hotline. While the doh hotline is 711 1001 and 711 1002. Additional information is that she has no more fever, just has cough and sore throat. That’s about it.
(how many students total in university) luistro: 13,000 population and 1,000 faculty and staff, maybe 1,500. Total 15,000 population. We have two campuses along taft avenue, dlsu college of st benilde will continue classes…suspended classes at 4pm today.
(how limited is limited, contact tracing how many) luistro: easy to do for us because we have schedule of classes, only attended four classes, list of all those students part of those four classes. Issued guidelines and we have opened hotline. On part of school we are also contacting them on our own. There are around four classes, maybe at around 30 max per class. Less than 120.
(household, how many contacts) luistro: we are still confirming this but they stay in a dorm and as far as the initial report has shown, very limited contact in dormitory.
(how many teachers) luistro: four
(Taiwanese woman case of asymptomatic infecting others) duque: probably developed symptoms and spread virus…can’t say when symptoms began…landed in Taiwan caught in thermal scan…
(asymptomatic going around) duque: I suppose because that’s the dynamic of the virus
(pinoy positive in Riyadh) duque: sure investigating team of nec is doing that. Probably give us update as soon as possible.
(may 12, may 29 manifested) duque: given limited data as of today, basing on what said that arrived may 12 and symptoms may 29, possibility didn’t get from country of origin, from when she arrived here, and period in which she had been around, bet may 12 and may 29, those are all the possibilities. If you count 10 days from may 12, concluded we should have already been free of virus assuming she might have contracted from country of origin.
(measures to trace) duque: the usual contact tracing being initiated by investigating team…guidelines in that regard and activities…
(dorm mates) duque: no exemption. Home quarantine, when appropriate
(are there japanese among foreign students) Armin: there are Japanese among them. Maybe 300 over the whole year. I’d like to say that yes they had been quarantined since they started showing the flu like symptoms and even before they were confirmed. We were able to document their movements since may25 and even prior to that. Trying to confirm…movements not confined only to school. Trying to get that information. A lot of our precautionary measures was thanks to directives of doh. Very much helped by guideline given to us…we didn’t need to panic. Prior to announcement of suspension of classes, came to doh, important to coordinate with them…advised us, not just suspension of classes…rather than just announce that classes are suspended, we had all of information, tried to bring together guidelines from doh and told them what they are to do after they leave school and what not to do.
Duque: this is the importance of having put in place our response level system…able to put together in very timely fashion otherwise in utter confusion if this had happened before our putting together the formula that led to response level system.
(reason to be alarmed) duque:wala naman. The symptoms of the patient is consistent with the symptoms that were manifested in two events, one when there was a wedding, small social gathering, first one when we had discovery of first index cases. Here in school we don’t know because different environment…in school, have to characterize how virus will behave in different environment…in school we don’t know, very good opportunity for us to learn how virus will evolve in different setting…
Villaverde: I think that we have to emphasize here that response level no.3 is only for the dlsu manila campus. It is not applicable to other schools. The rest of country is alert level 2. They don’t have a case in the school. It is only dlsu manila campus that will be in alert level 3.
Dr. soe nyunt-u: (was rp case part of factor in declaring pandemic level) it means geographic spread from more than one region. At the moment phil number of cases manageable at 22. What worries us at the moment is Australia, latest info is 501 case over last couple of days. Sudden increase of cases. Two countries, japan, korea, and Australia. Of course who hq geneva in consultation with regional office reviewing those figure. We haven’t made decision whether to announce phase 5 to 6. When we decide we will inform all member states and the press.
Duque: (how will pandemic declaration affect us) not necessarily. Remember basis for up scaling of pandemic phase geographic in nature, does not include severity of cases…many member countries strongly of opinion that criteria will have to be expanded to include severity of cases rather than just putting it up…if you look at technical criteria for up scaling to level6, the technical requirements had long been present…japan is in another who region. You have north american region, mexico, Canada and north am. Two, three weeks we had schools being affected in japan. If that technical requirement had been considered then decision would have been done earlier. Reiterate trust and confidence of member states upon leadership of who dir-gen. probably in constant conslutation with all experts available.
(is there another exchange student in dlsu list) duque: give you data as long as we have more information. Communicate as matter of protocol as soon as we receive information.
D: I think it’s important to note that…as you asked earlier, wherever this person came from, came on may 12 and sickness started may 29. Tracing to country of origin is not really relevant at this stage.
(other contacts…) duque: give update as soon as we get more complete info.
(third generation transmission) duque: none at the moment.
(how investigate) duque: contact tracing, manageable if symptoms way past 10 day incubation period, give us better handle of how contact tracing would have to be initiated. We can…put together the pieces of puzzle, we have to make more complete sense of pieces…contact tracing part and parcel of investigating team. Probably tomorrow we’ll give you a lot more details.
(can there be a healthy carrier) duque: theoretically that’s very possible as the us has reported many times 10,000 cases just tip of iceberg and perhaps more than 10,000. More than 100,000 possible cases at large. That is the nature of the virus. Something that we cannot controvert. The students will be told washing of hands, social distancing…make sure students on quarantine will be given assignment…emailed questions…
luistro: I teach in one class…given assignments, asked to submit online.
(hk, red bull) duque: that news got to me this morning…did my dengue in tondo. hadn’t have opportunity to validate this report with bfad. Illegal drug, can lead person to do abnormal things. Very dangerous, a threat, an overt threat to health of anyone who drinks it…
(would we stop sale of red bull) duque: automatic, by itself bfad will ensure system in place.
(from ched) vitriolo: last Monday we circulated guidelines prepared by doh and other agencies regarding response level systems we have adopted, distributed to regional directors nationwide and instructed to widely disseminate. Hoping not immediately used, safe to be on the safe side.