Friday, May 22, 2009

Bothered About The Swine Flu News

Just before hitting the shower tonight, a good friend, Pao, posted this on his Facebook status:

It's confirmed: First Case of H1N1 in the Philippines -

I was alarmed. I instantly followed the link, and this is what I saw (copy-pasted from

RP confirms first case of A(H1N1) flu virus infection
05/21/2009 | 10:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Thursday night that the country already has a case of the dreaded Influenza A(H1N1) virus.

“The Department of Health is officially announcing this evening the first confirmed case of influenza A(H1N1) in the Philippines," Secretary Francisco Duque III said via the World Health Organization (WHO) teleconference.

Duque assured that there “is no community level outbreak" and asked the public to be vigilant.

He said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) where the throat specimen was examined has confirmed that the sample tested positive for novel influenza A(H1N1) on PCR using the primers sent by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 20.

The patient, who is now quarantined, is a 10-year-old girl who arrived in the Philippines last May 18 after a trip to the US and Canada, according to the DOH.

She no longer has fever and cough, but still suffering from sore throat, said Dr. Eric Tayag, chief of the DOH Epidemiology Center. The DOH did not disclose where the girl is confined.

The girl only showed symptoms of the disease a day after her arrival, according to a report by radio dzBB quoting Tayag.

The patient's parents haven't showed symptoms of the disease but were nevertheless given oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug, the report said.

The government will conduct contact tracing to identify and diagnose individuals who might have come into contact with the infected girl. Health authorities will also check the plane boarded by the girl for traces of the disease.

The DOH urged the public to remain calm following the discovery of the country's first A(H1N1) case. They were also told to observe proper hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

Duque said the discovery of the case is something that the government had been preparing for and a result of the collective efforts of both public and private sectors.

Taiwan was the last country near the Philippines that reported a case of the disease, on Wednesday. Struck by the disease was a 52-year-old man, the country's first.

The World Health Organization raised its tally of swine flu cases around the world to 11,034 and 85 deaths.

WHO says most of the new 791 cases have been reported in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Mexico confirmed three more deaths linked to swine flu, while the United States confirmed two since Wednesday's tally.

At least 38 other countries have also reported cases since the outbreak began last month. - Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV, with an AP report

This is bothersome. The news, I meant. That and the first sentence of the 8th paragraph which read:
"The patient's parents haven't showed symptoms of the disease but were nevertheless given oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug, the report said."

Uhmmm... proofreaders? Yes, we need one for GMA, please.