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H1N1 cases jump to 344, says DoH But no new cases in Ecija village

Posted on: June 18, 2009

H1N1 cases jump to 344, says DoH

But no new cases in Ecija village

INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:18:00 06/18/2009

Filed Under: Swine Flu, Health, Diseases

MANILA, Philippines – The country now has 344 Influenza A(H1N1) cases after the Department of Health (DoH) confirmed 33 new cases on Thursday.

The new A(H1N1) patients include 24 men and 11 women, with ages ranging from one to 52 years, said Doctor Lyndon Lee Suy, a medical specialist from the Institute for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Of the 344 cases, 242 have recovered and were discharged from the hospital, Lee Suy said.

In Hilera village in Jaen town, Nueva Ecija province, where a community outbreak of A(H1N1) has been declared, there were no new cases as of Wednesday. If no new cases are reported in 10 days, the DoH will consider the Hilera outbreak “closed,” Lee Suy said.

Twenty people, including 12 elementary school students in the farming village have tested positive for A(H1N1).

There is no need to declare a community outbreak in Metro Manila even as several schools have confirmed cases of the disease, because health officials were able to trace how the patients were infected, unlike in Hilera village, Lee Suy said.

“The presence of many schools and universities in Manila serve to amplify the spread of the virus since students mingle with a lot of people when they go to school and Manila belongs to a travel path—for airports and even bus liners going to provinces. We can’t expect cases to decrease here for these reasons but as long as we can identify the index case in a cohort, there is no need to declare a community outbreak here,” he said

As the virus continued to spread, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III directed secondary- and tertiary-level hospitals, both public and private to admit suspected A(H1N1) cases for confirmatory tests, he said.

“This directive is immediate, so this should be implemented within this week or next week,” Lee Suy said.

The DoH is considering tapping more hospitals to test swab samples from suspected A(H1N1)cases including the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, the Davao General Hospital in Mindanao, Lee Suy said.

Anna Valmero

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