Six H1N1 cases appear in the Philippines

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Location of Ilocos Sur.
Image: Magalhães.

Six students in Ilocos Sur, Philippines tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus. This occurrence is part of a rise in A(H1N1) and malaria during recent weeks in two provinces, as was the confirmation of twenty cases of malaria in Zambales.

Officials from the Department of Health say that they are not surprised, as A(H1N1) cases began to appear at about the same time last year, coinciding with the onset of the local flu season. Other health officials believe that the rise is due to the onset of the rainy season. The department noted that all prior cases in the Philippines have been "mild" and patients fully recovered. In the current case, five of those affected have recovered, while one still shows slight symptoms.

"If we look at the pattern for this month, it was also the same time last year when cases of A(H1N1) started increasing," says Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, "As it is, it is flu season already." The Department of Health believes that the appearance of the virus should not cause distress; however, Suy warns that a new strain could appear.

The Philippines reported their first case of A(H1N1) in May 2009 in a ten-year-old child from the United States. According to the World Health Organization, 214 countries and territories have confirmed cases of A(H1N1), with a total of more than 18,311 deaths. As of June 2009, around 129 cases have been reported in the Philippines.