7 Navy men test positive for A (H1N1)

Posted at 06/29/09 5:33 AM

Seven Philippine Navy servicemen have tested positive for Influenza A (H1N1) infection and not two as earlier reported, Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgar Arevalo said Monday.

Arevalo said a total of 23 Navy officer candidates and enlisted persons in a training institution were tested for the virus after they manifested flu-like symptoms. Of the 23, only seven tested positive for the illness and are already recuperating.

"From the 23, 13 personnel are in hospital isolation, five are isolated in a guesthouse and five were allowed to go on supervised home quarantine because they either tested negative or have already been treated. They could have contracted illness from their exposure with people they get acquaintd with during their weekend vacations for their training," he said.

He said the Navy leadership decided to manage the information to prevent undue alarm and to control the spread of the virus.

He said Navy officers conducted lectures, informal talks, circulation of A (H1N1) literature and even posted information about the virus on the Navy website even before they learned of the A (H1N1) cases.

Armed Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner earlier said  the military has administered flu shots to soldiers at major camps, including the AFP's general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and at the major services.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Gen. Victor Ibrado has ordered soldiers to observe the proper hygiene as one of the measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Department of Health said there are already 861 confirmed cases of A (H1N1) in the Philippines as of Friday, June 26.

The health department earlier declared a low-level community outbreak in Metro Manila, where dozens of schools have suspended classes due to confirmed cases of A (H1N1). At least 54 schools have been affected by the spreading virus.

President Arroyo on Saturday ordered the DOH to raise the highest alert level on influenza A (H1N1) virus amid the rising number of confirmed cases in the country.

The heightening of the A (H1N1) alert level is one of Mrs. Arroyo's four marching orders to the DOH while she was in a sidetrip in Hong Kong on Saturday, a Malacañang statement said.