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2nd Cordi swine flu case confirmed

THE Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the second case of influenza A (H1N1) or swine flu in the Cordillera.

The patient is a man in his 20s, said Health Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje.

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This brings to 14 the number of cases under observation (CUO), which include the first confirmed case in the region.

The patient is under home treatment while the first case is on way to recovery, Cabotaje added.

The DOH is also verifying other possible CUOs because they do not fit the inclusion criteria of the presence of fever.

Cabotaje said some only have coughs but have histories of travel in countries where cases of H1N1 have been recorded.

As the DOH is tracing the contacts of the index and new cases, Cabotaje said the health department continues to explore other angles where the cases may have acquired the flu.

She said the DOH is looking at the possibility the new cases might not have been acquired from the Taiwanese case, but from other sources.

The DOH is also improving the response system of referral hospitals in all regions.

Cabotaje said staffs of referral hospitals now have the gear to protect them from acquiring the disease, as well as medications in case they or some patients exhibit symptoms.

Here in Baguio, City Health Officer Florence Reyes is maintaining the advice for travelers from abroad – with or without symptoms — to observe a 10-day self-quarantine and social distancing of six feet or two meters upon arrival to observe for flu signs and symptoms.

She said with the opening of classes, the advice is especially directed to students, school faculty and staff, local or foreign, who will come home from travel abroad for the opening of classes.

Reyes reiterated those who would experience while in isolation any symptom, such as fever, chills and fatigue; muscle and joint pain; sore throat; headache and body pains; coughing and sneezing; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are advised to immediately seek medical attention while those who would not develop any symptom after the 10-day period will be considered out of danger.

Reyes said continuous surveillance, contact tracing and massive information drive are being conducted in the city in coordination with the DOH.

Referral centers in the region include the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Benguet General Hospital, Abra Provincial Hospital, Far North Luzon General Hospital and Medical Center in Apayao, Ifugao Provincial Hospital, Kalinga Provincial Hospital, Bontoc General Hospital, and Luis Hora Memorial and Regional Hospital also in Bontoc.

Residents with symptoms are advised to consult their doctors or go to the nearest health facility immediately and to refrain from self-medicating. (Rimaliza Opiña)