H1N1 hits La Salle stude, ADB staffer among 7 new patients

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — ANOTHER De La Salle University student and a staff member of the Asian Development Bank were among seven more people who raised the number of confirmed A (H1N1) cases in the Philippines to 29, the Department of Health said yesterday.

In a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the second DLSU student might have caught the disease from the Lasallian female exchange student infected with A(H1N1) whose case was confirmed on Wednesday and prompted La Salle officials to temporarily close the school on Taft Avenue, Manila. Classes will remain suspended until June 14.

”Since May 1, 2009, we have monitored 414 CUOs (cases under observation). Of these, 29 were positive for the novel virus; 47 have pending laboratory results; 338 were negative for A(H1N1)…There are 13 new cases under observation,” Duque said.

The ADB has refused to provide details about the stricken employee. Besides the ADB staffer and the DLSU student, the other new cases are a 20-year-old man, a 23-year-old pregnant woman, two females and their 18-year-old male relative.

Batangas cases

Two Overseas Filipino Workers have been found positive for A (H1N1) virus in Batangas province, the Batangas Provincial Office confirmed yesterday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Rosvilinda Ozaeta withheld the names of the two swine flu patients but confirmed that they are both balikbayans from the United States

The victims arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport about four days ago. They were brought to Bauan Doctors Hospital the following day after they complained of severe headache, cold and other symptoms of the common flu.

But after a thorough health evaluation the patients were diagnosed to be positive for influenza A (HINI) prompting health authorities to advise their transfer to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Alabang, Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila to undergo further examination and treatment.

Ozaeta said residents of the province have nothing to fear as they are on top of the situation. Medicines and medical supplies to combat this disease are available, Ozaeta said.

The lady doctor also stressed that the disease is curable, barring complications, if detected at its early stage.

She also downplayed the rumors that other swine flu victims were diagnosed at the Batangas Regional Hospital a few days ago.

The Commission on Higher Education is closely monitoring the AH1N1 case of the 21-year old foreign exchange student of the De La Salle University in Manila but insisted it will not affect the formal opening of classes at the tertiary level on Monday, June 8.

CHED Chairman, Dr. Emmanuel Angeles said he is in communication with the DoH and La Salle officials adding that the temporary closure of the campus on Taft Avenue in Manila was in accordance with Response Level 3 guideline on AH1N1 which states that “school authorities should suspend classes after detection of at least one confirmed case and there is no sustained community transmission.”

“We are coordinating with the DoH and the school officials on this case. There is no cause for alarm. The school officials have suspended classes in accordance with the guidelines,” Angeles said when asked for comment on the matter.