MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday confirmed the third polio case in the country.
According to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, the third case is a four-year old female from Datu Piang town in Maguindanao who did not receive any dose of the oral polio vaccine.
The girl was initially reported as a case of acute flaccid paralysis in September after seeking consultation at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center following bouts of fever, diarrhea, vomiting and muscle pain.
Stool samples sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan revealed the girl tested positive for vaccine-derived poliovirus 2, Duque said.
He added the isolated virus has been genetically linked to the virus from the first confirmed case in Morogong, Lanao del Sur.
The health official further stated it is awaiting results of samples it sent from another suspected polio case.
MANILA, Philippines – A 36-year-old male patient in Tacloban City is now under observation for potential signs of novel coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed Friday (January 24).
The patient, who traveled from Wuhan, China, showed symptoms of nCov upon his arrival in the Philippines on January 17.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, however, clarified that it is still too early to conclude that the man is infected with novel coronavirus.
The DOH is keeping a list of all individuals from China who sought medical tests relative to the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Among them is a two-year-old toddler from Aklan.
The DOH clarified, however, that the toddler showed symptoms not worse than an ordinary flu.
Meanwhile, the DOH said they are expecting the release of the confirmatory test on the patients’ blood samples by next week.
The samples are now being tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, including that of the 6-year-old Chinese boy in Cebu who was first to be observed for nCoV infection.
At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not yet considering the situation a global health emergency.
Also, the Philippines is still technically free of novel coronavirus pending the confirmatory tests from Australia.
Nonetheless, Health offices across the country remain on alert against possible entry of the nCoV given the Philippines’ proximity to China.
Authorities are warning the public to refrain from travelling to China and always wear masks especially airport personnel as they are the first to have contact with arriving passengers from other countries. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has yet to receive results of the test on a Chinese boy’s blood samples sent to Australia after he was confined for symptoms of the new strain of coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people in China.
Meantime, the DOH stressed that there is no positive case of the so-called 2019 novel coronavirus yet in the Philippines.
“Until now wala pa tayong confirmatory test (We don’t have confirmatory test until now),” said DOH Spokesperson Eric Domingo.
“The patient is still admitted and has recovered. The patient is having some mild cough but no fever and so far the patient is doing well. But we are not discharging the child,” he said of the Chinese boy.
His family, who arrived in Manila from Hong Kong, also does not show any symptoms of the viral infection.
“Wala silang sakit so wala namang (They are not sick so there is no) need for us to do any tests on them or to admit them or to hold them in isolation,” Domingo explained.
“The advice really is for them to continue keeping in touch with us and then we will be monitoring them,” he added.
Meanwhile, the flight attendant who offered herself to self-quarantine after experiencing flu-like symptoms upon arriving from Wuhan, China also tested negative of coronavirus.
According to the DOH, the recent cancellation of flights from Wuhan, China and the order to place the entire city on lockdown is helpful to secure the country from a potential entry of the virus.
Meanwhile, the DOH expressed support should the World Health Organization (WHO) declares global health emergency to curb the spread of the unknown virus.
Domingo also assured that the Department will remain on the frontline in case management and disease control in the Philippines should the international health body declares the outbreak of 2019-nCov a global pandemic.
“We have the infrastructure and we have the system ready. It’s really just a matter of activating it, ever since SARS we already have quick response system in place,” the official explained.
“In this case nagkakaroon lang din ng kaunting modification kasi (In this case we are doing some modifications because) from SARS to MERS- COV to the novel Coronavirus for 2019, they are not exactly all the same not even clinically like this one is apparently less infectious,” he added.
Amid the novel coronavirus scare, the DOH reiterates its appeal to the public to always monitor updates from authorized agencies such as the DOH and WHO, especially when it comes to declarations on the still unknown strain of coronavirus so as not to cause panic given that unverified information is easily spread on social media nowadays. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it is monitoring the case of a five-year old boy with a history of travel to Wuhan, China for manifesting flu-like symptoms.
The child, who arrived in Cebu with his mother on January 12, was admitted in a hospital in Central Visayas after he manifested symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, throat irritation and cough prior to entering the Philippines.
The DOH said the young boy is now in stable condition but still had cough.
Based on samples examined by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the unnamed child tested negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Both diseases are caused by a family of viruses called coronavirus.
But he tested positive for a non-specific pancoronavirus assay, meaning that he is infected with a strain of coronavirus. The sample has been sent to a laboratory in Australia for further testing.
The DOH said the child will remain “a person under investigation” until they could get confirmatory results.
The Bureau of Quarantine is carrying out tracing of air passengers who may have come in contact with the boy during transit.
“We are reminding the airlines that the universal protective kit should be available anytime on board, the passenger locator card, the protocol on handling cases on board and of course reporting of cases on board to the ground crew,” Bureau of Quarantine director, Dr. Ferdinand Salcedo said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said novel coronavirus causes respiratory infections which may develop into severe cases such as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death if left untreated.
Coronavirus, which is a large group of viruses common among animals, may be transmitted through contact with an infected person.
“We are not sure of the source of the virus whether it came from animal or meat and other source. We believe that maybe human-to-human transmission,” WHO Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.
The DOH said they are also monitoring three other individuals who manifested flu-like symptoms upon their arrival at the Kalibo International Airport.
The agency said all three travelers, reportedly Chinese nationals, are currently well and are no longer exhibiting any symptoms.
All hospitals and medical facilities in the country have been alerted about cases of coronavirus.
The WHO said there are 222 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus – majority of them are from China while others were from Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
The new strain of coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
The DOH advised the public to always practice frequent handwashing, avoid crowded places and contact with infected person and to thoroughly cook food, especially meat and dairy products. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
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