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Ecija school closed for 10 days due to H1N1

Posted on: June 11, 2009

Ecija school closed for 10 days due to H1N1

INQUIRER.net
First Posted 14:19:00 06/11/2009

Filed Under: Education, Diseases, Health, Swine Flu

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) An elementary school in Nueva Ecija province north of Manila was closed for 10 days starting Thursday after one of its students tested positive for Influenza A(H1N1), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

The patient from the Helera Elementary school in the farming town of Jaen was one of 15 new cases that the Department of Health (DoH) confirmed on Thursday, bringing the country’s total number of cases of the disease to 92, Duque said.

It was the second school that the DoH quarantined, after the De La Salle University in Manila, where several students were confirmed to have the disease.

“I reiterate [the] call for schools to report unusual occurrence of flu symptoms especially those students who traveled in infected countries,” he said.

The DoH has started tracing the contacts of the Jaen town student, as it investigates how the student contracted A(H1N1), said Doctor Eric Tayag, chief of the National Epidemiology Center.

Tayag said the DoH was studying the possibility that the student caught the virus while attending a medical mission from Metro Manila in Jaen last May 31.

The day after the medical mission, 57 of the 198 students of the Helera Elementary School came down with flu symptoms, Tayag said.

The DoH has also shifted to a mitigation strategy in monitoring A(H1N1) cases, wherein only the first confirmed case in a school or office will be reported and there will be no running tallies per school or office, he said.

Also, confirmed A(H1N1) cases who show mild symptoms of the disease will not be given Tamiflu medicine and will be advised to go on home quarantine instead of being confined at the hospital, he said.

The DoH would replenish its Tamiflu stockpile by 500,000 capsules, to add to the 1.025 million capsules that it has, which is good for 102,500 patients, said health undersecretary Mario Villaverde.

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also sent A(H1N1) testing kits good for 2,000 people, Villaverde said.
The DoH is monitoring 32 new suspected A(H1N1) cases while 44 other suspected cases are awaiting laboratory results.

Anna Valmero

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