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PIA Press Release

Good hygiene is best defense against A(H1N1), says DOH

by Lyndon Plantilla

Manila (3 June) -- Thorough handwashing can help keep A (H1N1) away from schools, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said Tuesday.

During his visit at the Andres Bonifacio Elementary School and the Dr. Alejandro Albert Elementary School in Manila, Duque demonstrated the proper way of washing their hands and the right etiquette when sneezing and coughing as well inspected sanitation facilities.

"We are doing these visits to make sure that our children know how to keep themselves from contracting the A (H1N1). It's easy. Just like what we have been saying: hand washing while singing the happy birthday song twice will scare this flu away," Duque said.

He emphasized to school teachers and staff to be always cautious against H1N1 and to religiously implement the prescribed preventive measures.

Based on the guidelines, Duque said that the suspension of classes within a school can be announced by the school administrators concerned if there is really one or more A (H1N1) confirmed case and added that at Level 4, where there is already community transmission, the DepEd, CHED and TESDA officials can announce closure of one or more schools in the affected areas.

On the other hand, there are no new cases of A (H1N1) as of June 2.

"The five confirmed cases reported yesterday (June 1) are still in health facilities awaiting discharge. The five cases are mild in nature and are responding positively to the treatments given them," Duque said, adding that eleven cases have been discharged Monday.

Since May 1, 2009, 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.

The number of new COUs remains at 20.

Meanwhile, Radyo ng Bayan reported that at least 36 persons, mostly students, in Nueva Ecija are now under quarantine.

These people made contact with a 19-year old woman who was the 11th confirmed A (H1N1) case.

National Epidemiologist Center Chief Eric Tayag said the woman exhibited the symptoms four days after her arrival from the United States last May 20.

He said the patient had no idea that she had the virus.

Tayag said the woman is recuperating and could be discharged soon.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 1,900 new cases and 16 deaths brought about by A (H1N1).

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

DOH: Watch out for A(H1N1) but don't forget dengue

by Lyndon Plantilla

Manila (3 June) -- Despite the noise created by A (H1N1), schools should never forget the dangers poised by water-borne diseases, the Department of Health warned Monday.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque cautioned school officials to be vigilant against the so-called WILD diseases during the rainy season.

These diseases include Water-borne diseases, Influenza, Leptospirosis and Dengue (WILD), 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 H1N1 but also for most of these diseases," Duque stressed.

DOH is intensifying its campaign against dengue 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. (PIA) [top]

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