Fri, May 29, 2009
Lifestyle > Health

Flu A/H1N1 cases rise to 14 in Philippines

2009-05-29 10:01:23 GMT2009-05-29 18:01:23 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MANILA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines has reported a total of 14 confirmed influenza A/H1N1 cases in the country following the confirmation of four more cases on Friday, according to the country's health department on Friday.

Two of the newly-confirmed patients, a 19-year-old woman and a seven-year-old girl, returned from a trip to the United States. The other two cases were contacts of the patients confirmed in Taiwan of China and got infected at a wedding on May 17 in the northern Philippine province of Zambales.

All the four newly-confirmed patients are Filipinos, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, adding that they have only mild respiratory symptoms after being treated.

Although the Department of Health anticipates more A/H1N1 cases to be found out, the health chief said there should not be any cause for panic.

"Right now, what we are seeing from the behavior of the virus is that most of the cases are mild and are self-limiting.

The case fatality rate of A/H1N1 virus in fact is less than 1 percent," said Duque, adding that another disease -- Dengue Fever -- is even more fatal in the Southeast Asian country where 57 people have died of the virus as of April this year.

He said the 14 confirmed cases have shown relatively mild symptoms. They are being closely monitored in health facilities and all are "responding positively to the treatment."

"The most important thing is that we still do not have any severe case or any death," Duque said, adding that there is no indication of sustained community transmission in the Philippines.

He assured the public that the health department will continue to closely watch the situation and strengthen the country's preparedness and response plan.

Duque said, however, his department may be shifting its control strategy from hospitalization of all infection cases to outpatient and home management of mild cases and cases under observation.

Since May 1, the department has monitored 211 cases, including the 14 confirmed ones. Currently, 25 cases are still pending laboratory results and the other 172 ones have been dismissed since their results are negative for the virus.

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