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Monday, March 4, 2024

Gordon: Don’t panic over Wuhan ‘mystery’ disease

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No need for undue panic or anxiety until the cause of the mystery disease from Wuhan, China, has been known, Senator Richard Gordon said Monday.

“The cause of the ‘mystery’ disease from Wuhan, China has not been determined and thus far there has been no reported human-to-human transmission,” said Gordon.

However, given the significant number of workers from China, including those involved in POGO, Gordon said it would be prudent for the Philippines to ask these travelers to declare if they have traveled to Wuhan.

If they had gone to Wuhan, Gordon said they should be requested to be subjected to screening and a temperature check with minimum inconvenience as they enter the country. 

Meanwhile, the senator said the situation needed to be monitored. 

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He said preparations should be in place in the event the disease would spread.

Gordon also commended the Department of Health for ordering the Bureau of Quarantine to be on alert and ordering tightened screening of all incoming travelers, given the significant number of workers from China. 

The DOH earlier ordered strict monitoring of all incoming travelers amid reports of a mysterious disease from China that has sparked fears of a return of the dreaded severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured the public the Bureau of Quarantine was on alert and was closely watching all seaports and airports in response to reports of the mysterious disease. 

Duque instructed the BOQ to intensify the checking of all incoming travelers especially those manifesting fever or signs of respiratory infection.

Reports said an outbreak of a mysterious illness had affected 44 individuals in China. 

According to reports, the disease was similar to a “viral pneumonia of unknown origin.”

Many of the infected individuals were stall holders at Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which health authorities have closed until further notice, according to the South China Morning Post.

“I urge the public, especially those with history of travel from China, to seek immediate medical consult if experiencing any flu-like symptoms” Duque, said.

“Let us also embrace healthy lifestyles, practice proper hand hygiene, and observe cough etiquette to prevent transmission of respiratory infections,” he further said.

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