Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On Navy Personnel Infected with Influenza A(H1N1) Virus:

1.) Earlier reports that there were two (2) Philippine Navy personnel infected with A(H1N1) virus is inaccurate. There were actually seven (7). We have to clarify this to prevent a misimpression, should there be a follow-up report, that there was a sharp increase from two to seven yesterday.

2.) This number came from 23 Navy officer candidates and enlisted personnel (in one of our training institutions) that manifested flu-like symptoms, had throats swabbed and results submitted.

3.) From this number, 13 personnel are in hospital isolation; five are isolated in a guesthouse; five are allowed to go on supervised home quarantine because they were either tested negative or have already been treated. They could have contracted illness from their exposure with people they get acquainted with during their weekend vacations from their training.

4.) The Philippine Navy decided to manage the information because we believe that pro-action, immediate containment and prevention of undue alarm and panic is essential in controlling the spread of the dreaded disease.

5.) Before news came out, Navy leadership through Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez, Flag Officer-in-Command, AFP, caused the conduct of troop information and education in every opportunity – lectures, informal talks, circulation of literatures and posting of information at the Navy website. Had it not been for these constructive moves between the Navy Chief Nurse, Col Joselito AvanceƱa and local Department of Health officials, the number could have been more as we await test results to come. It bears stressing through that all patients are currently recuperating.

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