Sunday, May 24, 2009

Philippines confirms 2nd A/H1N1 flu case

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) The Department of Health on Sunday announced the second confirmed case of a Filipino with the deadly A/H1N1 flu virus.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque, who made the announcement shortly after arriving from Geneva, where he attended the World Health Assembly, also said “there remains no community-level outbreak" in the Philippines.

He said that authorities at this stage would not postpone the start of the school year, scheduled for June 1.

"The symptoms that we have observed in the first two confirmed cases are similar to the symptoms manifested by most other patients in affected countries," he said.

"This is really just a mild form of the virus. However, this is new and we do not know if this will turn for the worse," he added.

Duque said the second index case is a 50-year-old Filipino woman who arrived from the United States on May 20.

The balikbayan (returning Filipino) from Chicago, he said, reported her illness the following day after showing mild flu symptoms such as fever and cough.

Duque said the woman, whose name was withheld, no longer had symptoms of the flu and was on her way to recovery, as of Sunday.

The patient has been isolated and is being monitored at Manila's Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, while quarantine officials trace those who came into contact with her.

On Thursday the health department announced the Philippines' first swine flu case, a 10-year-old girl whose family had traveled to the United States.

Her family flew home last week and officials are now tracing some 17 passengers who are believed to have come into close contact with her.

Duque said on Sunday the girl was recovering and appeared to have contracted a mild form of swine flu.

Taiwanese authorities confirmed Saturday that a woman and her daughter who had visited the Philippines for a yoga class had contracted swine flu.

Source: Inquirer