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PIA Press Release
2009/06/02

Vigan City creates task force vs swine flu virus

By Freddie G. Lazaro

Vigan City (June 2) -- Vigan City Mayor Eva Marie Singson had created a task force to closely monitor all arriving visitors, balikbayans and livestocks to prevent the possible entry of the dreaded AH1N1 virus here.

The task force team was jointly led by the City Health Officer, Dr. Loida Ranchez, and Dr. Liburio Arca, the City Veterinary Officer.

"Although, there's no AH1N1 virus case reported yet in our country, we need to brace ourselves to prevent the possible entry of this kind of virus in our city," Mayor Medina said.

According to Dr. Ranchez, the main responsibility of the task force is to conduct monitoring and surveillance to all foreign visitors, tourists and newly-arrived Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) residing in the city.

"We had already coordinated with owners of hotels and restaurants in Vigan City to cooperate with the task force in monitoring all visitors and tourists arriving in - in to their establishment," Dr. Ranchez said.

"The strict implementation of health safety measures in Mindoro Vigan Domestic Airport is also observed," she added.

Ranchez told that personnel protective devices like gloves, masks and gowns are available for the members of the health monitoring team, also he said that the Barangay Health Monitoring Team was also organized to gain the cooperation of the barangay populace, Ranchez.

"Part of the responsibility of the task force is to conduct advocacy and information education campaign (IEC) about the AH1N1 virus or the so-called swine flu, its prevention and control in the barangay level," Ranchez said.

For his part, Dr. Arca told that all livestock animals that entered the city were properlychecked and monitored.

"The most probable carrier of AH1N1 virus aside from human are the swine, the wild birds and ducks and chicken," Arca said.

Arca advised that the best way to prevent the infection of AH1N1 virus to human being is to maintain personal hygiene to strengthen body resistance to any type of disease and among the symptoms include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. "Symptoms can develop within one to four days and ranges from mild to severe. If these symptoms occur, people should call their doctor," he said.

He said that the flu virus has the greatest chance of entering the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, so the people are advised to avoid touching those areas and to wash your hands frequently. Also, people are advised to avoid close contact with sick people.

As of press time, it was reported that there is no current vaccine against the swine flu. The health officials recommended that victims should take the antiviral drugs like Relenza and Tamifu.

Meanwhile, reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that the total number of cases of AH1N1 virus now reaching 9,830 cases from the 40 countries all over the world with a death toll of 79. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]

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