Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DOH issues flu advisory amid outbreak in US


MANILA, Philippines - As the United States battles with a flu epidemic, the Department of Health (DOH) has asked the public to observe precautionary measures to stop the spread of influenza.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona yesterday said the Christmas season had brought in relatives from the United States.

“I have instructed the Bureau of Quarantine to intensify fever screening at the points of entry. Though there are neither travel nor trade restrictions imposed concerning the US flu situation, we must be on our guard to detect influenza cases not only at our ports and airports but also from our health facilities,” Ona said.
The DOH chief said the sick should stay and recover at home, noting that it takes only a few days and the symptoms subside.

A quarantine official sprays chemical inside an aircraft that landed at the NAIA yesterday amid the US flu outbreak. RUDY SANTOS
“Protective measures should be observed consistently to stop viral spread like proper hand washing, cough etiquette and social distancing,” he said.

“Influenza can be a very serious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and death,” said Ona.
He said young children, pregnant women, senior citizens and those with certain health conditions such as heart, kidney, or lung disease, can easily be seriously ill and suffer from pneumonia complications.
Reports said the flu virus is spreading in 47 American states. It is only in California, Mississippi and Hawaii, where the illness is not widespread.       

About 7.3 percent of deaths last week were reportedly caused by pneumonia and flu, surpassing the 7.2 percent threshold.

Influenza is a viral illness that spreads from person to person through droplets made when one sneezes, coughs or talks. A person becomes sick two days after being infected.


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