Monday, May 25, 2009

Did Taiwanese Mother and Daughter Flu H1N1 Cases Attend a Yoga Session in Manila or Not? Duque Says No, Taiwan CDC Says Yes!

25 May 2009

Secretary Francisco Duque III has been doing a yeoman's job in the present H1N1 crisis but there are things he is not telling us. 

Below is Update No. 22 of the DOH dated May 25, 2009 and here, Secretary Duque continues to tell us that "on further investigation, the Department of Health was informed that the Taiwanese nationals did not attend a yoga workshop in the Philippines"


May 25, 2009

As of May 25, the Department of Health has identified ten new Cases Under Observation (CUO), eight of whom are from NCR, one from Region I and one from Region VII. Since May 1, the DOH has monitored 113 CUOs, two of whom were confirmed cases of A(H1N1). Fifteen CUOs still have pending laboratory results, the remaining 96 have been discarded since they are negative for Influenza A(H1N1).

Globally, the World Health Organization reported a total of 12,022 cases and still 86 deaths in 43 countries as of May 24. There are no new countries reporting confirmed cases of Influenza A (H1N1).

Update on the two confirmed cases in the Philippines. Both cases are well and do not have any symptoms. They are still being monitored and will be discharged once their repeat PCR becomes negative for A (H1N1). At present, all their close contacts have not reported any symptoms of flu and are observing home quarantine.

Update on the Taiwanese two nationals. On further investigation, the Department of Health was informed that the Taiwanese nationals did not attend a yoga workshop in the Philippines. However, it was found that this confirmed A(H1N1) case and her daughter did attend a social gathering while visiting the country. The DOH is now in the process of tracing their contacts and will update you as information becomes available.

We would like to reiterate that if you have traveled to an Influenza A(H1N1) affected country or have been exposed to a confirmed case of Influenza A(H1N1) and have fever, cough, sore throat or other flu-like symptoms, please consult a health facility immediately. You can also call the DOH Hotline (02) 711-1001 or 711-1002.

DOH Influenza A(H1N1) Surveillance Progress Report (as of May 25, 2009)    

This is what Secretary Duque said yesterday:

On the Taiwanese national who visited the Philippines, the DOH is continuously investigating the case.  We have already coordinated with Taiwan Centers for Disease Control who reported yesterday that the patient has already fully recovered. At present, her daughter only has mild respiratory symptoms and does not have fever anymore.  Based on the information we have, the Taiwanese woman fell ill after visiting the Philippines for a short vacation.  She did not attend any social gathering in the country, which could have exposed her to the virus while here in the Philippines.
What do the Taiwanese have to say about this matter?  To find out, let's turn to the authorities in Taiwan, the Centers for Disease Control R.O.C. (Taiwan).  So that there is no dispute as to what they're saying, here's a snapshot of their website as of 25 May 2009, 6:04pm, Manila time:

This is what the Taiwan CDC says in its website:

On May 22, 2009, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed the forth and fifth imported case of influenza A (H1N1) in Taiwan. The forth case is a 30-year-old, Taiwan-born female who traveled to Manila, the Philippines to attend an international yoga workshop with her daughter, elder sister and a friend from May 16 to 20, 2009. The participants in the events were mostly from the United States, Canada and Australia. The case took flight PR896 and arrived at Taiwan at 09:30 on May 20, 2009. Before boarding the plane, the case experienced influenza-like symptoms such as lightheadedness and sore throat, but did not develop fever. Therefore, the case returned home after she arrived in Taiwan and had dinner at a friend’s house. On May 21, 2009, she put on a facemask and sought medical attention at a clinic because her symptoms persisted. Her doctor suspected that she was infected with influenza A (H1N1) and thus referred her to a hospital. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a fever of 38℃, sore throat, and light cough, and was immediately sent to the negative pressure isolation room for treatment and specimen collection. In the evening of May 21, 2009, the case’s daughter developed fever and was sent to the hospital for treatment at the negative pressure isolation room. The case’s daughter has come into close contact with fiver of her family members. In addition, the public health personnel have visited the kindergarten the case’s daughter attends for epidemiological investigation in order to determine if school closure is necessary.

CECC urged the passengers sitting in the same row and in the 3 rows in front and behind the case and the crew members on flight PR896 (departed from Manila at 07:39 on May 20, 2009 and arrived at Taoyuan at 09:31 on the same day; the case’s plane seat: 23B) to voluntarily report themselves to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) through the Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922. After contacting Taiwan CDC, public health personnel will visit them to administer antiviral prophylaxis and request them to conduct self-health management: observe their own health, conduct home quarantine, and measure their body temperature twice a day for a period of seven days. If any of the close contacts develop influenza-like symptoms such as fever and cough during the next 2-7 days, please be sure to contact the local health unit first and refrain from seeking medical attention on his/her own. On the other hand, the passengers on board the same flight with the case should not be overly panicked and are urged to conduct self-health management for seven days or call 1922 for consultation.

Also, take note that the Taiwan CDC informs Taiwanese of the flight number of affected H1N1 cases and advises all passengers who took the flight "to conduct self health management for seven days or call 1922 for consultation."

That is, of course, not the procedure that the DOH is doing in the Philippines. Dito po gusto nila tayong maging VIGILANT but we're not given adequate information.

More on this when I return.

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