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H1N1 outbreak declaration in Metro mulled

Posted on: June 26, 2009

H1N1 outbreak declaration in Metro mulled
First Posted 16:22:00 06/26/2009

Filed Under: Health, Diseases, Swine Flu

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DoH) is studying whether or not to declare a full-blown community outbreak of the Influenza A(H1N1) virus in the capital, where 70 percent of the 861 cases of the disease were reported, a health official said.

The DoH last week placed Metro Manila under a “low-level” community outbreak, with the spread of A(H1N1) limited to the areas of schools, where students and faculty were infected with the disease.

A community outbreak of A(H1N1) will be declared in Metro Manila if five percent of its population is infected with the virus and if there is a third-level transmission, meaning a person gets the disease from someone who was infected by the first case in a certain area.

Seventy percent of the 861 total A(H1N1) cases in the country as of Friday are from Metro Manila, said Doctor Yolanda Oliveros, director for National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

“With the current rate, majority of the country’s confirmed A(H1N1) cases are in Metro Manila. We are awaiting the evaluation of DoH NCR and the National Epidemiology Center if there will be a transition to community outbreak from the current low level community transmission that are limited to schools,” Oliveros said.

“Metro Manila presents a critical case since there it has a highly mobile population and a very huge geography. Right now, majority or about 70 percent of all confirmed cases in the country are in Metro Manila, especially in Manila and Quezon City,” she said.

Oliveros, however, could not say if the number of cases in the capital was nearing the five-percent threshhold.

On Friday, the DoH confirmed 134 new cases of A(H1N1) flu virus, raising the country’s total to 861, the second highest in Southeast Asia, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

Duque said 734 of the 861 reported cases since May have recovered, which represents a recovery rate of 74 percent.
Anna Valmero


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