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Flu scare won’t delay school opening — DoH

Posted on: May 21, 2009

Flu scare won’t delay school opening — DoH

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:55:00 05/21/2009

Filed Under: Swine Flu, Education, Children, Health, Diseases

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DoH) will not recommend delaying the opening of classes on June 1 due to the Influenza A(H1N1) scare, but advised students, parents, and school officials to maintain proper hygiene to guard against the disease, a health official said.

“The current situation does not call for any drastic measure such as that [delaying opening of classes]. The plan for next week is to hold [a] series of meetings on what precautionary measures must be installed by the schools,” health undersecretary Mario Villaverde said told a news conference on Thursday.

Villaverde urged school administrators to be “extra vigilant” in maintaining cleanliness and advocating personal hygiene among school staff and students once school opens in June.

“Aside from calling for personal hygiene, there should be regular cleaning of toilets, door knobs, desks and, frequently handled things or equipment so that we will reduce the possible sources of infection and means of transmission of the virus,” he said.

Villaverde said the DoH would work with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) for an awareness campaign against the deadly flu virus.

“We have more or less provided the general awareness but we are now focusing on meeting specific groups to discuss preparedness and prevention measures to be carried out with different government agencies and the private sector,” he said.

Last week, the DoH met with representatives from travel agencies, hotels, resorts, and embassies.

The Philippines has no confirmed cases of A(H1N1) but the disease has spread closer to the country after Taiwan confirmed its first case of the virus earlier this week.

The virus is transmitted through mucus droplets that are thrown in the air when one coughs or sneezes. It can also be transmitted through fomites or objects that carry infected droplets, said Asuncion Anden, director of the National Center for Health Promotion.

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