A The 10-year-old arrived in the Philippines with her parents on May 18, Monday, from the United States and Canada. A throat specimen was collected, and was tested at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) on May 20, Wednesday, after she developed fever, sore throat and cough.
Today, RITM confirmed that the specimen tested positive for the novel Influenza A (H1N1) on PCR using the primers sent by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
She was immediately started on an antiviral, Oseltamivir, and given supportive care. At this time, the patient is continuously being monitored. She no longer has fever or cough, but still has sore throat.
The DOH would like to emphasize that there is no community level outbreak in the country and measures are being done by the government to prevent transmission, starting with the quarantine of household close contacts.
The family of the patient has been informed and advised about the situation. We would like to thank them for their cooperation and willingness to comply with the recommendations of the DOH. They were advised to observe self-monitoring, home quarantine, social distancing, proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette procedures.
DOH appeal to our media partners and the rest of the nation to respect the privacy and anonymity of the patient and her family. Rest assured that any information vital to protect public health and safety will be appropriately shared to those concerned.
The DOH also stresses that the discovery of this first case of Influenza A(H1N1) in the Philippines is something we have been preparing for and is a result of the collective efforts of both public and private sectors as well as the effective surveillance system which we have put in place.
The DOH has already notified the International Health Regulations (IHR) and will submit its official report in 24 hours.
Influenza A (H1N1) is currently affecting 41 other countries with 11,034 cases and 85 deaths. Thus far, the behavior of the virus is to cause generally mild illness and low mortality (<1%)>
This development only shows the vulnerability of all countries to the threat of Influenza A (H1N1) which indicates that no nation and no government should be complacent. Thus, we continue to strengthen our systems for surveillance, early detection and management and effective response. We are also closely coordinating with the WHO, other agencies of government and the private sector to effectively combat the virus.
THe DOH's stockpiles of Oseltamivir is currently sufficient at 1 million capsules and have been distributed in regional hubs all over the country. DOH would like to remind the public that Oseltamivir may only be dispensed and taken upon the advice of your doctor. Irrational use can result in drug resistance that causes the drug to become ineffective in the future.
DOH reiterate to the public that government is on top of the situation and everyone is advised to be vigilant. If you have arrived from an affected country and develop flu-like symptoms (or TRANGKASO) such as fever, sore throat and cough, immediately consult a medical professional or call the DOH Hotline at (02) 711-1001 or 711-1002.
This situation is evolving globally. DOH will give regular updates to the media and the public as information becomes available.
To know more about Influenza A(H1N1), you may go to the DOH Influenza A(H1N1) Website at www.doh.gov.ph/h1n1