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DOH tells public: Just stay home and take proper medication to combat AH1N1 virus

Cebu City (30 June) -- People suffering from flu-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose and cough should just go on 'self quarantine' and take the appropriate medicines, recommends the Department of Health (DOH-7) as it applies a different approach to the rising cases of the Influenza A H1N1.

Dr. Expedito Medalla, Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit - Health Emergency Management Services (RESU-HMS) Chief of the DOH-7 during a special conference of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC-7) at the DOH-7 compound this morning advised that people with fever should just take any paracetamol drug and decongestant for runny nose on top of staying strictly at home and getting enough rest and drinking plenty of fluids and eating enough food to regain back one's strength.

"The A H1N1 Virus is just mild and is self-limiting," and that there is no need to panic just because A/H1N1 cases in the country is rising, according to Medalla.

The DOH is taking a different approach to the rising cases of A/H1N1 as requests for swab test by people who experience flu-like symptoms are swelling in number with majority of cases turning negative, this is learned.

There is even no need to be admitted to a hospital just because one fears of developing the A/H1N1 albeit for severe cases, one should see a doctor right away, this is emphasized.

Medalla however, said close monitoring is needed to people experiencing influenza-like illness symptoms but who have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases as this will cause more complications that might possibly lead to death.

The country's first fatality of A H1N1, a 49-year old woman who worked at the House of Representatives, had an existing heart condition and suffered myocardial infarction or heart attack which may have been triggered by the Influenza A H1N1 Virus.

Symptoms of Influenza A H1N1 are fever, headache, fatigue, muscle or joint pains, lack of appetite, runny nose, sore throat, cough, vomiting or nausea and diarrhea.

Although Medalla admitted the number of cases of A H1N1 in the country is increasing with 861 confirmed cases as of June 26 which may probably be about 900 today, but the case fatality rate is only one percent

In Central Visayas, there are 192 cases under observation but there are only 33 confirmed cases, 28 cases still pending and 131 cases tested negative with zero death. About 90 percent of the confirmed cases however, are fully recovered, Medalla stressed.

The DOH-7 is currently widening its advocacy campaign against Influenza A/H1N1 conducting briefings in schools, universities and other sectors that want to be enlightened on this novel virus and will soon orient hospital administrators in Negros Oriental.

"There is no need to fear the virus but we should not also be complacent either as the situation might just worsen," Medalla noted.

Medalla admitted the situation is in a pandemic level but that everybody should cooperate fully by exercising social responsibility by doing self-quarantine at home in case symptoms of Influenza A/H1N1 is felt. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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