DOH confirms 1st AH1N1 case in Caraga region

The Department of Health (DOH), Caraga Region, confirmed 1st case of A(H1N1) virus in the region.

This was learned from DOH-Caraga Regional Director Dr. Leonita Gorgolon, in a phone-patch interview with dxBR-Bombo Radyo Butuan this morning.

According to Dir. Gorgolon, the confirmed A(H1N1) case comes from a four- year old boy and has history of travelling abroad. "In fact, the boy came from Hongkong and arrived here in the region on June 13", Gorgolon said.

Also, Ms. Sunshine Alipayo of DOH-Caraga said in a phone-patch interview with PIA this morning, that the family coordinated with their office upon seeing signs and symptoms the boy has manifested.

Immediately, DOH-Caraga referred the boy having been suspected to have the virus to its referral hospital in Davao City – the Davao Medical Hospital. "Just last night (June 19), the result came out and was found positive," Gorgolon said.

As of press time, Alipayo said the immediate contacts of the boy were already under the treatment process to avoid the virus from spreading.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, June 19, DOH reported that the total count of positive cases in the country already reaches 344.

However, Health Sec. Francisco Duque said "all of these 344 confirmed cases were mild in nature, both those who are currently under treatment and those who have been sent home."

Duque also said that most of the 344 confirmed cases are from Metro Manila (National Capital Region) with 234 (68%), Central Luzon (Region III) with 45 (13%), and CALABARZON (Region IV-A) with 31 (9%).

Duque also noted that in the National Capital Region, most cases came from Quezon City (81 or 34%), Manila (44 or 18%), Parañaque (21 or 9%) and Makati (15 or 6%).

Duque said the age range of these cases is from 1 to 76 years old, with 18 as the median age. He also said that most of the cases belonged to the 15-24 years age group (171 or 50%). He said that majority of cases were male (187 or 54.4%).

To date, World Health Organization (WHO) officially reported 93 countries worldwide with laboratory-confirmed cases of new influenza A(H1N1) virus.

Influenza A (H1N1) is a new virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in April 2009 in the United States. The virus is spreading from person-to –person, probably in much the same way that the regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.

Similar to a regular flu, A(H1N1) virus have symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, lack of appetite, runny nose, sore throat, cough, vomitting or nausea, and diarrhea.

The virus' mode of transmission is exposure to droplets from the cough and sneeze of the infected person. Influenza A(H1N1) is not transmitted by eating thoroughly cooked pork.

With these developments, DOH calls on the public to observe proper hygiene, avoid going to places with mixed crowd, and report immediately to their regional offices nationwide should signs and symptoms are seen on any individuals especially those who have history of travelling abroad.

Among the preventions advised by DOH include: cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, always wash hands with soap and water, use alcohol- based hand sanitizers, avoid close contact with sick people, increase your body's resistance, have at least 8 hours of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids; and eat nutritious food. (PIA-Caraga)

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