Monday, March 2, 2015

DOH: Death of OFW from China possible case of bird flu

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday announced that the death of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who returned from China might be a possible case of Avian flu or bird flu.

“The patient was considered a possible case of Avian Flu or Bird Flu,” DOH acting secretary Janette Garin said in a press conference.

The said OFW, who worked as a musician in China for six years, arrived at the country last February 9 without symptoms of the disease.

The patient experienced cough, fever and abdominal pain on February 10. He consulted a doctor on February 11 upon noticing his worsening condition. The OFW passed away on February 14.

Garin noted that the OFW might have been aware that he was sick at the time of his arrival in the country and have taken medicine which made the fever subside and undetected.

“The patient was initially referred to DOH as possible case of MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus), however upon review of his case, Avian Flu was decided to be a more proximate findings,” Garin added.

The DOH assured that if ever it was confirmed that the OFW died from bird flu, transmission of the disease is not a possibility since the patient has already died.

"Wala po tayong dapat ikabahala. Subalit kinakailangan pa rin ang maigting na pagbabantay at patuloy na pagpapalaganap ng tamang impormasyon sa ating mga kababayan sa mga bansang nagtatala ng kaso ng Bird Flu or Avian Influenza," the acting Health Secretary said.

As safety precaution, Garin reminded OFWs to fully declare only true information on their health declaration checklist, practice good hygiene and practice immediate consultation.

The Avian virus has spread from Asia to Europe to Africa since its widespread re-emergence in 2003 and 2004.

Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest pain, and bleeding from the nose and gums are some of the symptoms of bird flu, according to a report.