Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DOH Declares Low-Level H1N1 Community Outbreak in Metro Manila Even as Sen. Gordon Reiterates Wisdom of Deferring School Opening

24 June 2009

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III now admits that there is what he calls a "low-level H1N1 community outbreak in Metro Manila" particularly in schools, colleges and universities.

Nanaykupo!  Bakit parang matagal nang obvious 'yang ganyang ibinabalita ng DOH?!

The DOH made this declaration even as Senator Richard Gordon reiterated the wisdom of his earlier stand that the opening of classes should have been deferred.  Had that advice been heeded or seriously considered, we would not be seeing the spectre of so many children getting sick left and right and schools opening and closing almost at will.

It's about time that the Senate hold its own inquiry into the state of our public health given the now rampaging H1N1 menace. This is especially important since Congress, which held a one-day public hearing on H1N1 last Monday, has shut itself down after one of its employees became the Philippines' first H1N1-related fatality.

It's about time that our policy-makers get to know what cytokine storms are which has been linked to the deaths of millions of healthy young men and women during the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic.  (More on this very important topic when I return.  I've actually made a post on this a few days ago.  You can find it here if you type "cytokine storm" in the Search box of this blog).

DOH, Gising!  DepEd and CHED, Gising! Senado, Gising!


  1. I happened to chance upon your blog when I was googling for the tamiflu price. Anyway, if i was surprised at the price of this anti-viral drug, I was more surprised with the cost of throat swabbing. I called St Luke's and they told me that it roughly cost P7,000 but if i go straight to RITM, I only need to pay P4,000. Considering such expensive diagnostic procedure, I am now skeptical at the number of positive cases. I believe that there are more people infected by this ah1n1 but could not afford to be diagnosed. And if I am right, the government should do something about this costly testing in order to accurately monitor the spread of this infectious disease.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  2. Tama ka po! Right on the button!

    You know what is so bad about all these is that it's happening in a Christian country. H1N1 kills and nobody should be making a killing in profits or commissions because of it.

    I agree that there are much more people who have been infected by the H1N1 virus than the official numbers reflect. Who can afford P4,000, much less P7,000 only to find out whether you're infected or not?

    Unless things get for the better, we might need new officials at the DOH, people who will not keep secrets from us (like the details of the flights which brought the first instances of H1N1 in country; in other countries these details get published and all the passengers are asked to report to their health departments or ministries so they can be monitored for any subsequent infection) but instead inform us adequately and make the necessary preparations so that the Filipino nation can effectively combat the virus when the infections become more severe.

    The next stage to watch out for, which is not impossible to happen if the history of the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic is to be a precedent, is when the H1N1 virus makes a rebound after several months then becomes more virulent and starts killing healthy people because of a scientific phenomenon called cytokine storms wherein the immune system of infected healthy individuals overact to the virus causing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which permanently injures the lungs and may possibly lead to death because of what is popularly known as multiple organ failure (MOF) or the more technically correct term, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS).


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