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PIA Press Release

DOH: More influenza A(H1N1) patients recovering

by Lyndon Plantilla

Quezon City (11 June) -- Thirty-two A (H1N1) patients have recovered and discharged, the Department of Health reported Thursday.

As more patients are recovering, DOH is now looking into shifting strategies in dealing with A (H1N1).

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III has been meeting with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and World Health Organization (WHO) and members of the DOH Task Force on Pandemic Preparedness and Response to discuss the government's plan of shifting the management of A (H1N1) from containment to mitigation.

"With mitigation, the government will be recommending to affected areas with community level transmission to now focus on taking care of the sick, providing guidance for people to protect themselves and their families, and monitoring the outbreak. To date, we stress that we still do not have community level transmission that is why we are still in the containment stage," Duque said.

During mitigation, government will work closely with WHO to exchange information about the virus in the Philippines, help understand how the pandemic is evolving and follow developments in scientific and clinical issues.

In the event of a pandemic alert 6, Duque said WHO is recommending the following: 1) No border closure as it will not be possible to stop it at said points of entry; 2) No restriction of travel as people who are infected may not show symptoms so they cannot be identified from others who are not infected; 3) Greater emphasis on providing care with a decreased emphasis on stopping the spread of the virus.

Like what Duque has projected, the number of A (H1N1) cases is rising as more people and organizations are involved in disseminating information on the disease side by side with the department's on-going contact tracing.

As for the new cases, 15 more have been confirmed, all mild in nature, bringing the total count of positive cases to 92.

The 15 new cases involved 10 males and 5 females with age range of 9-50 years old and all Filipinos.

Four of them travelled to Japan, Singapore, Mexico and the USA.

In Jaen, Nueva Ecija, the Helera Elementary School suspended its classes on Thursday following the confirmation of a mild case of A (H1N1).

Contact tracing is now being carried out to determine cases and to put affected households in self-quarantine.

The A (H1N1) strain in the Philippines is a mild form and has not caused death in any parts of the country.

Nevertheless, Duque reiterated his call to all school authorities to report unusual occurrences of flu-like symptoms among their students, especially those who travelled lately to countries affected with the novel virus, to their local government officials.

In their latest report dated June 10, WHO has reported 27,737 cases and 141 deaths from 74 reporting countries.

The latest country to report A (H1N1) is Ukraine. (PIA) [top]

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