A(H1N1) cases continue to rise; DOH sets criteria for free government tests for A(H1N1)

Confirmed cases of A(H1N1) are now rising by the day, but the health department says there is no community-level outbreak as of yet. So far all the transmissions appear to be first or second generation.

The third case in La Salle, however, is that of a 17-year-old teenager who did not travel abroad and was not a classmate of the two Japanese students who earlier tested positive for the virus.

In an earlier press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had admitted there might be asymptomatics: people who have the virus but who are not sick, and pass it on to others who might get sick.

The Taiwanese woman and her child, who attended a wedding here and, upon coming home to Taiwan, tested positive for the virus, might be one such case. Emphasis on the “might,” as Duque’s answer, when asked about this, was not categorical. While she got sick after the wedding, eight of those who were in close contact with her during the wedding later tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, not all who get sick with flu and are afraid it might be this new flu virus may have themselves tested for free. The health department says those considered as high-risk individuals will be prioritized. These are: 1) those who have flu-like symptoms and have recently travelled from affected countries; and 2) symptomatic individuals who were known close contacts of confirmed cases. Read on for the DOH press release.

Update No. 34

DUQUE: NO COMMUNITY-LEVEL A (H1N1) OUTBREAK EVEN AS NEW CONFIRMED CASES ARE REPORTED 05 June 2009

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III today reported four more positive cases of Influenza A (H1N1) in the country bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 33.

One of the 4 new confirmed cases is another student of the De La Salle University (DLSU), a 17 year-old male, who has no history of travel. He manifested mild acute febrile respiratory symptoms on June 2 and consulted a doctor on June 3 heeding the DLSU officials’ advice to its students when it suspended all its classes in Taft. He is presently confined in a health facility and recovering well.

“The three DLSU cases are responding well to their treatments and do not even have fever anymore, including the latest case. Contact tracing though is still in progress,” Duque said.

Duque reiterated that DLSU is the only school that is on a voluntary ten-day suspension due to A (H1N1) at the moment. No other school has approached the Department of Health (DOH) with the same predicament and plan. We also have not confirmed any case involving other schools.

The three other cases all have a history of travel. They all came from the United States. One of them is a foreign national. She is a 29 year-old female, who arrived on June 1 and developed fever and cough shortly thereafter. The remaining two are siblings, a 9 and a 7 year-old, both females, who arrived in the country on June 3. They became ill on June 1 and were screened on arrival and were subsequently brought to a health facility by the Bureau of Quarantine. All three are recovering from their illness in health facilities.

Meanwhile, Duque assured the public that the DOH is closely coordinating with the Asian Development Bank with regard to its first positive case reported yesterday. The ADB has already issued its own guidelines to prevent the spread of A (H1N1) among its employees and has been updating the Department on the condition of the positive case. Twelve contacts have been traced who have mild respiratory symptoms and are now awaiting laboratory results.

“We stress that only those who will qualify as CUOs including close contacts of confirmed cases will be tested and will receive treatment for free,” Duque said.

Duque explained that with the heighted awareness of the public on the novel influenza virus, more people are getting anxious to get themselves tested. “Government needs to implement a clear protocol that prioritizes the treatment and management of A(H1N1) cases, particularly people at high risk,” Duque said.

At present DOH includes the following high risk individuals as priority: 1) Those who have flu-like symptoms and have recently travelled from affected countries; 2) Symptomatic individuals who were known close contacts of confirmed cases. As yet there is no community-level outbreak of A(H1N1) as the DOH and local government units are able to contain its spread.

“For the general public, especially now that we are entering the rainy season and we expect flu cases to increase, we advise them to stay at home, take supportive treatment and plenty of bed rest if they have mild symptoms. But if you have preexisting conditions like diabetes, asthma, COPD, heart disease and if you are pregnant or immunocompromised, also those at the extremes of age (i.e. <5 years old and elderly), we recommend that you go to the doctor as soon as symptoms set in,” Duque advised.

Since May 1, 2009, the DOH has monitored a total of 450 CUOs. Of these, 33 are positive A(H1N1) cases, 76 have pending laboratory results, and 341 are negative for A(H1N1) and have been discarded. There are 36 new Cases Under Observation (CUOs) today.
In their latest report dated June 3, the World Health Organization reported 19,273 cases and 117 deaths from 66 reporting countries.

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2 Responses

  1. i have an Influenza Report, this is a medical textbook that provides a comprehensive overview of epidemic and pandemic influenza (download PDF) HERE:
    http://mediccall.blogspot.com/2009/04/influenza-report.html
    ENJOY IT

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