Friday, 5 June 2009

Philippines may relax its Swine Flu Control

Because they think that Swine Flu is just like normal flu and can be
easily treated with Tamilflu, compared to Dengue.

However compared to Dengue's 6000 cases in a year, Swine flu will
certainly number in millions in just 6 months even under controlled
conditions albeit relaxed control as in US and Australia.

If the Philippines were to relax its Swine Flu control, it will suffer
worse fate than USA that in 2 months suffer more than 20 deaths. In
another 2 months it will be 20x20= 400 that is certainly higher than
Dengue deaths.

Dengue may not have a cure but with timely platelet donation, we can
easily save lives but with only 6000 cases, there will be no problem
with donation.

For Swine Flu to be treated with Tamilflu, it will require millions of
doses of Tamilflu at a cost of US100 per shot. Can the Filipino
government afford it?

For Sabah, it will be bad if the Philippines cannot control its Swine
Flu infection because there are many Filipionoes in Sabah.
DOH may stop hospital-based treatment of H1N1 patients

by Maria Althea Teves, | 06/05/2009 5:13 PM

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The Department of Health (DOH) may soon abandon its approach of
containing people infected with the influenza A (H1N1) virus since all
the confirmed cases in the country are just similar to mild flu

At a press conference Friday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said
the health department expects the number of swine flu cases to go up
even more because there are no restrictions on air travel.

As of June 5, the DOH has recorded 33 confirmed cases of H1N1 with no

Duque said the DOH is more concerned about the rise in dengue cases
than swine flu.

He said the mortality rates of dengue, malaria, typhoid fever or
leptosperosis are even higher than H1N1. From January to May 2009, the
Philippines has had 6,538 cases of dengue with 57 deaths.

"It is not the 1918 Spanish flu," he said. The Spanish flu outbreak
killed between 3% to 6% of the world's population.

New approach planned

Since all H1N1 cases in the Philippines have turned out to be mild, he
said the DOH may soon adopt a new approach in managing influenza A
(H1N1) patients.

"No longer do we have to contain people," he said.

Instead, the DOH will adopt a mitigation strategy where, rather than
putting people in designated medical facilities, they will just let
people rest in their homes, visit the hospital, and ask them to get

Duque said it would be difficult to quarantine everyone affected if
the number of cases continue to go up. Shutting down commercial and
business establishments due to the spread of the virus will also harm
the economy.

Duque also noted that while "there are medicines to treat swine flu,
[there is] none for dengue." Doctors use the drug oseltamivir to treat
H1N1 cases.

As the current chair of ASEAN Plus 3 (ASEAN + China, Japan, South
Korea) health ministers, Duque said he is urging the World Health
Organization not to raise the alert level of H1N1 to pandemic phase 6.

"They should take into consideration not only the geographic spread of
the virus, but also the fatality rate," he said.

He lamented that as a result of the panic brought about by the A(H1N1)
virus, people are not guarding themselves against more serious
diseases like dengue.

However, he said that although swine flu is not a big problem,
everyone should be cautious.

Duque also noted that unlike the deadly flu outbreak in 1918, there
have been advances in medicine and technology.

WILD Season

Duque said the onset of the rainy season means the rise of WILD
diseases--Water-Born Infectious diseases, Leptosperosis, and Dengue.

Eating food not prepared properly or drinking contaminated water are
sources of water-borne infectious diseases.

Rat urine is the source of leptosperosis, which could enter the body
if an open wound is exposed to contaminated flood waters. This disease
damages the kidneys.

Duque said dengue is even more worrisome today because mosquitoes are
feistier and more hyperactive due to climate change.

He said that even seven-day-old mosquitoes bite. "They are very
hungry. They need strength."

Get Rid of Trash

Meantime, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Bayani
Fernando urged the public to cooperate in fighting infectious diseases
by proper waste disposal practices.

He said the MMDA has been holding clearing operations and
environmental programs to help the health department fight infectious

He said that instead of using a metric square of your house to keep
trash, throw it and have someone rent it.

"That is P200 per metric square when you rent in Metro Manila. That's
[rent] where the money is, not in trash," he said.

Fernando admitted that his reputation is suffering because of the
clearing operations they are doing.

He added it is his task to remove informal settlers near waterways
because this causes floods, which helps breed mosquitos and spread
mosquito-borne diseases.

"It is not anymore my concern to give them homes. That is the concern
of another agency," he said.

as of 06/05/2009 5:32 PM

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