MANILA, Philippines - A member of a varsity team of the University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City recently tested positive for the Influenza A (H1N1) virus, but a university official said the campus was not suspending classes.
``We already have one case of H1N1, but it was agreed that we don't have to suspend classes as we are already past the preventive stage and in the mitigation phase,'' Betsy Enriquez, UP Diliman?s vice-chancellor for student affairs told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Enriquez said the school's decision not to cancel classes was based on the guidelines issued by the Department of Health.
``We will follow the DOH guidelines, and not suspend classes and close the school as UP has a unique situation because we also have a residential area,'' Enriquez explained.
Enriquez did not name the student but said he is a member of one of the school's varsity teams.
``All those who had interacted with him including his team mates, classmates and professors have been placed under quarantine, which will end on Saturday,'' Enriquez said.
She added that the boy did not travel abroad, but was in contact with someone who traveled abroad and showed symptoms of the swine flu.
She added that the student has been recovering from the flu.
Enriquez also confirmed that two more students have been quarantined after they showed symptoms of the virus on Tuesday.
``We still have to wait for two to three days for the results of their tests, but they have already been isolated and all necessary measures have been taken,'' she said.
She added that the school came up with a protocol to lessen the effects of the H1N1 flu virus in its community.
``All students and staff who traveled abroad will be encouraged to go on self-quarantine, and are required to inform the school if they show symptoms of the swine flu,'' Enriquez said.
She added that the school would install signs and post information materials all around the campus to inform the community about the H1N1 flu virus and the mitigation methods.
Enriquez said the school was set to appoint a health liaison officer who would monitor students and employees on travel, and those showing symptoms of the virus inside the campus, and keep track of the latest guidelines from the DOH on the H1N1 flu.
``The officer will serve as a point man in the mitigation of the virus,'' she said.
To prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu on campus, she said, the school administration had decided to place soap bars in all comfort rooms inside the university.
She added that the school administration would allow students to take a leave of absence if they suspected they had the flu.
``The faculty will be more liberal with the students and a method will be devised to enable the students to still meet the subject's requirements without attending classes, '' Enriquez said.
She said the days to be spent by an employee on quarantine or in taking care of a relative sick with the H1N1 flu, would not be deducted from their sick leave credits.
``But all of these should be documented and certified,'' she emphasized.