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PIA Press Release

Transport of flu patient to DMC done under strict protocol

by RG Alama

Davao City (23 June) -- The transport of a 4-year old boy from Butuan City tested positive of AH1N1 influenza, to the isolation ward of the Davao Medical Center was made with utmost compliance to health protocols.

This according to DMC Hospital chief Leopoldo Vega M.D. who said that the transfer was due to the choice of the kid's grandmother to have him confined in Davao, rather than nearer medical centers in Caraga Region and Cagayan de Oro City.

The boy had just come from Hongkong, where he was accompanied by his grandmother to visit his parents who are working there.

He allayed fears of possible contamination as he said the van driver and other medical personnel in the transport, followed strict protocol like wearing of protective gear and the straight non-stop route taken by the medical transport to the DMC.

Also in the isolation ward aside from the four-year old boy, is his grandmother, a nine-year old girl who had close contact with the boy and the girl's parents.

Vega says they will be in the isolation ward for 5-7 days with five to seven swabs taken to confirm negative results. If about three swabs would test negative then the persons could return back to the community.

"It is lonely to be quarantined, it is like house arrest. You do nothing except stay in the ward." Vega described the conditions of those confined in the isolation ward.

The hospital chief said vouched integrity of the isolation ward. The ward is detached from the main building, far from populated area of the hospital. The nurses and medical personnel attending the patients in the ward are equipped with protective gear like masks, goggles, gowns, boots and gloves. These are properly disposed of after use and the personnel undergo rigorous washing and hygiene after serving the patients.

Vega meanwhile defended the decision of the boy's grandmother in choosing DMC as a confinement area. He says that DMC just cannot deny any patients who wants to come to be treated be it a heart patient or one with an influenza virus.

He said that AH1N1 is not really a deadly virus, what makes it exceptional is that the genetic traits of swine, human and bird flu are found in the virus. Its symptoms are just as the same as ordinary influenza. He said those deaths in Mexico were aggravated by pre-existing ailments like pneumonia and diabetes. (PIA XI) [top]

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