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Philippines Rising swine flu cases alarm Palace: Officials

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  • Philippines Rising swine flu cases alarm Palace: Officials

    MANILA - The Malacanang presidential palace admitted Thursday that the mounting number of confirmed swine flu cases in the Philippines has become “alarming” but at the same time advised the public “not to panic.”
    President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who was in Saint Petersburg, Russia for the Global Economic Forum, has been informed of the latest cases, Presidential deputy spokesman Anthony Golez said.
    “The figure is alarming, but it does not give us any room for panic. Let us not panic because all the patients are well taken care of by the hospitals, were given the right treatment, and they are recuperating very well,” Golez told reporters during a press briefing.
    Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has reported that the number of confirmed A(H1N1) cases in the Philippines has risen to 29 on Thursday.
    In a press conference, Duque confirmed that seven more people contracted the disease, including a second De La Salle University (DLSU) student in Manila. The second DLSU case is a 20-year old Japanese male international graduate student.
    Also among the seven cases is a 52-year old female executive of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) who had just arrived from the US.
    He said the Japanese male student might have had contact with the first DLSU student, a female exchange student who was confirmed with A(H1N1) infection last Wednesday.
    Duque said an ADB employee also tested positive for the virus.
    “Since May 1, 2009, we have monitored 414 CUOs (cases under observation). Of these, 29 were positive for the novel virus, 47 have pending laboratory results, 338 were negative for A(H1N1) ... There are 13 new cases under observation,” Duque said.

    On Wednesday, the DLSU suspended its classes until June 14 after confirmation that one of its students contracted the still largely unknown virus.
    The second DLSU student infected with the A (H1N1) virus arrived in the Philippines last May 12 and showed mild respiratory symptoms such as cough and sore throat last May 31, Duque said, adding that the student went to the university clinic on the same day.
    He was confirmed positive for A (H1N1) last Wednesday by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
    The six other cases are Filipinos who traveled to the US including three relatives, two females aged 12 and 16 and an 18-year old male. The others are a 22-year old male, and a 33-year old pregnant woman.
    “In general, we expect more cases because we are doing contact tracing and there is not travel ban,” Duque said.