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‘Low-level’ flu outbreak declared in Baguio

July 17, 2009 12:26am

MANILA, Philippines - The government on Thursday declared a "low-level" community outbreak of the Influenza A(H1N1) in Baguio City, a television report said.

In his report in GMA News’ “24 Oras," Mark Salazar said the Department of Health (DOH) made the declaration after the local government admitted that it could not determine the source of transmission in the city.

As of posting time, five schools in the city - St. Louis University, University of Baguio, Pines City Educational College, Baguio City National High School, and St. Louis Center – remain closed due to the flu-like symptoms exhibited by some of their students.

"We have increasing number of influenza-like illnesses in the schools in the community," said Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, DOH regional director in the Cordillera.

The report said a DOH team in Manila, together with representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), had gone to Baguio City to beef up contingency measures as part of the preparations in case the situation worsens.

"What we are doing right now is ina-assist natin ‘yung mga regional offices natin sa pag- encourage sa local partners na may dapat silang gawin for A(H1N1)," said Dr. Lyndon Leesuy, head of the DOH’s Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Program.

[We are assisting our regional offices in encouraging their local partners to work together against A(H1N1).]

The report said that with the DOH declaration of a “low-level" community outbreak, the agency has already discontinued the contact tracing method and shifted to the mitigation strategy.

Mitigation strategy refers to aggressive treatment of cases as they come, especially for patients with high-risk pre-existing conditions. - GMANews.TV