DOH: A(H1N1) cases now 29, including ADB staff
MANILA, Philippines – The number of confirmed A(H1N1) cases in the Philippines rose to 29 after seven more people were confirmed to have contracted the disease, including a staff of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and another De La Salle-Manila student, the Department of Health said Thursday.
In a press conference, Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said the second De La Salle University student might have had contact with the Lasallian female exchange student confirmed with A(H1N1) infection last Wednesday.
A dzBB radio report quoted Duque as saying that an ADB employee also tested positive for the virus.
ADB's senior director for external affairs, Ann Quon, confirmed the DOH's announcement. But she denied earlier claims that the infected employee is an executive of the company.
In a phone interview with GMANews.TV, Quon said it would be more correct to call the person "staff" instead of executive as the term refers to "managerial affairs" or jobs similar to that.
Quon, however, declined to reveal the person's nationality, gender, and job description.
She said the ADB employee recently came from a “vacation in the United States" and went back to work on Monday.
Quon said “there is no reason to panic because the staff did not have much contact" with their employees. Nonetheless, they are taking precautionary measures, she added.
“We are taking everything [precautionary measures] we can. We told the staff to ensure good hygiene, to wash their hands, to go to medical centers in case they experience flu-like symptoms. Basically, we are advising them to monitor themselves," Quon said.
She also said that the company is “ready" for such virus because they have a “quite detailed pandemic crisis management plan" to follow should a pandemic breaks out.
"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.
Apart from another DLSU student, the other six new cases are a 20-year-old man, a 23-year-old pregnant woman, two females and their 18-year-old male family member, and an ADB staff, he said.
On Wednesday, De La Salle Manila campus suspended its classes until June 14 after the confirmation that an exchange student was infected with the flu virus. - Sophia Dedace, Aie Balagtas See and Mark Merueñas, GMANews.TV