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QC official: No meningococcemia outbreak in Novaliches

/ 10:25 AM January 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government dispelled rumors circulating on social media about an alleged meningococcemia outbreak in Novaliches.

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“There is no outbreak at all. Everything is under control,” Dr. Olivia Favor, medical director of the Novaliches District Hospital (NDH), said Wednesday.

The statement came after the temporary shutdown of the NDH’s emergency room, which was conducted as a biosafety measure after an 11-year-old boy was brought to the facility for treatment last January 4.

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Concerns were raised after photos of the alleged victim, feared to be a meningococcemia patient, circulated on Facebook together with a supposed photograph of a memorandum signed by Favor ordering the closure of the emergency room for quarantine and decontamination purposes.

The doctor clarified that the shutdown “was a normal preventive measure” and that “the risk has never been considered a threat.”

“To prevent the contagious disease from spreading, we closed the emergency room facility for 24 hours with appropriate decontamination of all the equipment used on the said patient using UV (ultraviolet) light,” Favor added.

She said the hospital’s emergency room had resumed normal operations on Sunday.

Preventive treatment was also given to NDH patients and employees who were exposed to the patient.

Favor stressed that the solitary case was far from being called an outbreak.

The World Health Organization defines an outbreak as an occurrence of cases of a disease in excess of the normal or expected in a defined community, geographical area or season.

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While infectious, meningococcemia can only be passed through direct contact with an infected person, including coughing, sneezing, kissing and the sharing of food, drinks and utensils. /cbb

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