Cebu ready for exotic viruses; MCIA monitors passengersCebu Daily News
Health and airport officials in Central Visayas said they are “prepared” to handle people who may be afflicted with exotic viruses amid reports of a “mysterious” virus that claimed the lives of 52 in Cambodia recently.
Thermal scanners at the Mactan international airport can spot passengers with fever.
“We have always been vigilant ever since the SARS (Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome) scare. Our thermal scanners are operational for passengers of incoming international flights,” said Mary Ann Dimabayao, spokesperson of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino said they have been preparing for exotic viral diseases that may hit the country anytime.
“We have been preparing since A(H1N1) time. Our first case in Cebu was confined in the VSMMC, Aquino said.
The DOH-supervised hospital in Cebu City is opening soon a facility designed to hold these cases in a pressurized room called the Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases Ward.
Regional Director Asuncion Anden of the Department of Health (DOH) agreed that government hospitals are prepared to deal with emergencies like this.
Influenza A(H1N1) is a potent flu virus that swept several countries including the Philippines in 2009.
SARS cases were also reported in the Philippines in the late 2002 until early 2003 but no wave of caseses apeeared in Cebu despite daily flights from Hong Kong and other international destinations.
International health experts tested the Cambodian victims positive of Enterovirus 71 (EV-71), a fatal strain of hand, foot and mouth disease, a World Health Organization statement said.
No vaccine has been created for hand, foot and mouth diseases. /Jessa J. Agua, Correspondent