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3 Possible Swine Flu Sufferers in Cebu Quarantined

It’s a waiting game for three individuals who were quarantined in Cebu on suspicion that they harbor the H1N1 flu virus. A Filipino who was detected to be running fever by thermal scan at Cebu Airpot was isolated together with his wife after they arrived from their trip which brought them to Ireland, Hongkong then to Cebu via Cathay Pacific Fight.

They were sequestered in quarantine rooms at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center pending the results of their laboratory tests crucial in determining if they have the pig flu. With them was an Englishwoman who voluntarily came to the hospital on May 4, 2009 to complain of cough and colds after visiting Mexico and Hongkong, places where the swine virus had been reported.

Renan Cimafranca, the head of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit said that the public will be notified of the laboratory tests sent to the DOH’s Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM )in Alabang on the three individuals as soon as they are available. Although the swine influenza seems to behave like the seasonal flu, caution and vigilance are advised because the behavior of the new flu strain isn’t completely known.

Since no swine flu has so far been detected in the Philippines, the Department of Education (DePEd) has no plan to interrupt the schedule of opening of classes in June. Health authorities in Cebu are confident of their readiness to tackle the H1N1 virus infection after learning from their experience in controlling Severe Acure Repiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003.