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4-yr-old boy is Mindanao’s 1st A(H1N1) case

By Franklin A. Caliguid
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:09:00 06/21/2009

Filed Under: Swine Flu, Epidemic and Plague, Diseases

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines—A four-year-old boy from this city became Mindanao’s first case of Influenza A(H1N1), health officials said on Saturday.

The boy’s parents and other people who had contact with him have either been placed under mandatory quarantine or are still being traced, said Dr. Gerna Manatad, chief regional epidemiologist of the Center for Health in Caraga.

Manatad said the boy, whose name was withheld, is now confined at a government hospital in Davao City.

She said the child developed a fever and cough after arriving with his parents from a vacation in Hong Kong on June 13.

She said the boy’s parents and family members were immediately placed under mandatory quarantine.

“Family members are under quarantine and contact tracing was being done to locate other persons, with whom the boy had contact with,” she said.

Dr. Leopoldo Vega, chief of hospital of the Davao Medical Center (DMC) in Davao City, said the boy is “up and about with no fever.”

But he said the patient will have to stay longer at the DMC’s isolation ward.

“He won’t be discharged yet. Probably after five to seven days,” Vega said.

The DMC, Mindanao’s largest government-run health facility, has a four-bed isolation ward for suspected A(H1N1) patients.

Meanwhile, Manatad said 13 other persons were placed under observation for A(H1N1) infection in various areas of Caraga.

She said the patients showed symptoms of the new flu virus after coming in from abroad.

The report of the city’s first A(H1N1) triggered a rush in drug stores for anti-flu medicines, facial masks and disinfectants.

“There’s really no need to panic,” Manatad said, adding that the victim, who is on medication, is fast recovering,” Manatad said. With reports from Joselle R. Badilla, Inquirer Mindanao



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