MANILA, Philippines -- Seven soldiers, not two, have so far been infected with the Influenza A(H1N1) virus as 11 others remained in isolation in a hospital and guesthouse for further observation, a military official said on Monday.
The seven soldiers from the Philippine Navy were under medication, Navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday.
The patients were among the 23 soldiers who were submitted to tests after they manifested symptoms of Influenza A(H1N1), said Arevalo.
Aside from the seven Navy personnel, six more were still being confined in the hospital; five remain quarantined in a guesthouse--also in the same training facility-- and the rest have been released.
?Although they tested negative for the virus, they were given medication as a precautionary measure against it and they will be asked to return to their homes upon completion of their treatment,? Arevalo told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) in a separate phone interview.
The seven A(H1N1) patients could have contracted the virus from their exposure to people during weekend vacations, he said.
Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. told reporters on Monday that one of the infected soldiers might have caught the virus when he attended a wedding in Zambales province, where two Taiwanese had also contracted the disease in May.
?One of the soldiers attended the wedding so he might have gotten the virus there,? he said on the sidelines of the Management Association of the Philippines general meeting in Makati City, where he was guest speaker.
A few weeks ago Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Victor Ibrado issued a directive reminding soldiers to limit their contact with fellow officers to a mere salute.
Soldiers have also been discouraged from shaking hands and making ?beso-beso? or kissing on the cheeks and were reminded to practice good hygiene.