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The Philippines’ influenza A(H1N1) tally inched closer to the 100th mark on Thursday as 15 new confirmed cases brought the country’s total to 92. But the Department of Health stressed that almost one-third of these patients have since recovered from the ailment. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III made the announcement at a regular briefing at the Department of Health (DOH) office. He said the latest batch of confirmed cases were all Filipinos, 10 males and five females, and all are mild ones. He said four of the new cases have a history of travel to the United States, Mexico, Japan and Singapore — countries that also have confirmed cases.

“We stress that there is still no community level transmission, that is why we are still in the containment stage," he said.

DOH briefings have been trimmed down from daily to just twice a week to prevent public fear over the new strain of flu. The department is preparing for the next stage in preventing the spread of the disease – the mitigation process where early detection is given more priority than contact tracing.

“During mitigation, the government will work closely with the World Health Organization to exchange information about the virus in our country to help us understand how the virus is evolving," Duque said.

In the WHO’s latest update, 27,737 cases from 74 countries have been recorded since the new flu strain was reported in April, with 141 deaths. As the figures continue to go up, WHO officials have indicated that they are on the verge of declaring a global Pandemic Alert Level 6, the first in more than 40 years.

Duque appealed to all schools nationwide to continue coordinating with their respective local governments whenever they receive reports of students developing flu-like symptoms. Since May 1, the DOH has tested 698 people for the virus. A total of 562 tested negative while 44 suspected cases have pending laboratory results. (GMANews.TV)
University of Cebu did its share in the mitigation process by orienting the faculty and staff on A(H1N1) virus through a seminar conducted by selected clinical instructors. The clinical instructors who served as resource speakers shared what they have learned from a seminar they have previously attended sponsored by the Philippine Nurses Association.