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DOH: No cases of Nipah virus in PH as fears raised in Cagayan de Oro


The Department of Health (DOH) doused fears over concerns of the new Nipah virus reaching the Philippines amid flu-like illnesses reported in some areas in Cagayan de Oro.

In a statement, DOH Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao clarified that “there are no Nipah virus cases in the nation” as reports circulated that the reason for the signs and symptoms experienced by some residents in Cagayan de Oro was the Nipah virus.

“Although there have been instances of both faculty and students here in Cagayan de Oro who are exhibiting the signs and symptoms of the viral illness, it is not yet clear whether a particular virus is to blame,” the DOH regional office said.

"It is not clear whether this is caused by the said virus because their signs and symptoms are common with other viral infections also," added DOH.

Nipah virus, according to the DOH central office, is a zoonotic virus that can spread between animals and people. Fruit bats or flying foxes were said to be the animal reservoir for the virus.

Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, and sore throat. It can also result in encephalitis or swelling of the brain, and even death.

"Despite the fact that the Nipah virus is new to us, it is not brand new to other Asian nations like India and Malaysia, where it has been reported in humans and animals and caused serious illnesses and even death and human alike," said the DOH.

The DOH said it has established a surveillance system to monitor possible cases.

Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Rolando Uy, meanwhile, issued an executive order on Wednesday, September 27, and stated that there has been “a recent rise in fever/flu-like illnesses in schools and several barangays around the City.”

Uy encouraged residents to observe minimum health protocols, such as wearing of face masks, practicing regular hand washing and cough etiquette, and following social distancing in all public places and transportation hubs in the city.

It is also strengthening its public health interventions, particularly on disease prevention through health promotion and communication, as well as Infection-Prevention-Control (IPC) measures to reduce the transmission of infections, including the Nipah Virus. —VAL, GMA Integrated News

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