Friday, May 22, 2009

RP reports first case of A-H1N1 virus

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 22, 2009) – Philippine authorities have confirmed the country’s first case of influenza A (H1N1) after a ten-year old girl was tested positive for the virus.

But Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the girl has recovered and would be discharged from the hospital soon. The unnamed girl arrived from the United States with her parents in the Philippines on May 18.

It was unknown how many people came in contact with the girl.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said President Gloria Arroyo has reiterated her directive to the Department of Health, the Bureau of Immigration and other concerned government agencies to “stay on top of this issue and keep her always updated.”

He said health authorities were already retracing the “girl’s tracks in order to identify and contain the possible path of infection” to stop the virus from spreading.

The Philippine News Agency also reported the government had undertaken a comprehensive range of immigration precautions and public health measures to protect the country against the spread of the virus.

“Unfortunately, the global village is getting smaller every day, and so it was just a matter of time before the virus caught up with us. Now that it is here, we must become even more vigilant and continue to observe common sense, precautions to avoid catching the disease or spreading it to others,” Remonde said.

The World Health Organization said at least 41 countries have reported more than 11,000 cases and 85 deaths since the breakout of the virus in La Gloria, Mexico early this year. (Mindanao Examiner)

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