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A(H1N1) CARRIERS
DOH asked to search beyond Central Luzon


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:08:00 06/04/2009

Filed Under: Swine Flu, Epidemic and Plague, Diseases

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines?The Department of Health in Central Luzon on Wednesday asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to expand the tracking of people exposed to two Taiwanese infected with the A(H1N1) virus.

The request came after an investigation showed that the number of guests in a wedding feast attended by the Taiwanese?a mother and daughter?in a resort in Zambales on May 17 had reached more than 80 people and not 50 as earlier reported, according to Dr. Rio Magpantay, DOH regional director.

Widening the contact tracing outside Central Luzon was necessary because ?not all contacts were from Central Luzon,? he said. Some of those already tracked down are from Baguio City and Metro Manila.

Puzzle pieces

Also, three of the guests?a man, a woman and her child?showed to be positive of the virus. After almost two weeks of confinement in a Metro Manila hospital, all three people have recovered, tested negative of the virus and have been sent home, Magpantay said.

The fourth Central Luzon case, a balikbayan from the United States, is also recuperating well, it was learned.

The two Taiwanese, who had returned to their country, had also recovered.

Magpantay did not state the regions from where the other guests hailed from, the names, citizenship and stature of the couple, and why they invited a number of guests from in and out of the Philippines.

?We?re trying to complete the pieces of the puzzle,? he said.

Flu season

In Clark, the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) has installed hand sanitizer dispensers in all building entrances so employees and guests can clean their hands as often as possible to avoid any flu infections.

Dr. Clemencita Dobles, CDC health and safety department manager, encouraged employees to use the hand sanitizer dispensers and directed security guards to ask guests to use them too.

?June means the flu season and the A(H1N1) virus spreads just like the way the common flu infects a person so it is important that we keep away from such virus through clean hands,? she said.

Dobles also warned employees to be wary of false or misleading text messages on so-called ?confirmed? reports of the A(H1N1) virus infection in Pampanga.

?Our referral center in San Fernando does not confirm A(H1N1) cases but it is the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) that confirms infections,? she said.

Tonette Orejas, with a report from Charlene Cayabyab, Inquirer Central Luzon


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