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Don’t panic, RP remains flu-free-DOH

Posted on: May 8, 2009

Don’t panic, RP remains flu-free—DOH

17 persons under observation since May 1

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:46:00 05/08/2009

Filed Under: Swine Flu, Epidemic and Plague

MANILA, Philippines—Health undersecretary Mario Villaverde on Friday said the country has remained free from the novel AH1N1 influenza virus.

“As of today, we have zero case of influenza AH1N1. Meanwhile, we have 17 persons under observation for novel virus infection since May 1,” said Villaverde.

Of the 17 cases, 13 tested negative from the viral infection and discharged while four remained quarantined pending laboratory results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the Department of Health-assigned medical facility conducting lab tests for the novel flu virus.

Of the four, three are Filipinos: a 58-year-old female now at a Cagayan de Oro hospital, a 12-year-old male confined at the RITM and a 21-year-old female who came from Italy and now at the Asian Doctors Hospital.

A 40-year-old male foreigner from the US is quarantined at the Asian Doctors Hospital.

VIllaverde said RITM will release the laboratory results Friday afternoon and the DOH would release an official report Saturday.

Officials from the National Epidemiology center confirmed that residents near the Metropolitan and Capitol Center need not panic after health workers used gas masks in attending to patients because it is “false alarm” for the virus.

Worldwide, there are 2,371 confirmed cases of AH1N1 virus infection and 44 deaths in 24 countries, with Poland as the newest country reporting one confirmed case, according to the World Health Organization.

In the Western Pacific Region, there are only three countries that have reported cases—one in Hong Kong, three in South Korea and five in New Zealand.

All the rest are in the Americas and the European region, said WHO.

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