Thursday, September 27, 2012

Philippines: DOH readies 'SARS rooms' to deal with new SARS-type cases

September 26, 2012
The Department of Health is preparing the "SARS Rooms" in government hospitals to treat patients infected by a new coronavirus similar to one that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

DOH National Epidemiology Center head Enrique Tayag said this Thursday even as he said they have not received any report of Filipinos being infected by the new virus.

"Na-maintain natin ang SARS Room sa DOH hospitals. Naglagay tayo ng mga room na ito nang tinamaan tayo noon ng SARS,"Tayag said in an interview on dzBB radio, when asked about initial measures should there be cases of the new infection in the Philippines.

He also said Philippine authorities remain on alert after the World Health Organization issued an alert on the matter.

In 2003, the Philippines was affected by the SARS scare that began in neighboring China.

SARS is a severe respiratory illness that is caused by a coronavirus (species Severe acute respiratory syndrome virus of the genus Coronavirus), is transmitted especially by contact with infectious material (as respiratory droplets or body fluids), and is characterized by fever, headache, body aches, a dry cough, hypoxia, and usually pneumonia.

A Reuters report said SARS appeared in China in 2002 and infected more than 8,000 people around the world, killing around 800 of them before being brought under control.

Also in the Thursday morning dzBB interview Tayag said airports have already started routine screening of incoming passengers.

"Kung may darating sa ating bansa na makitang anumang sakit bibigyan natin ng option na magpatingin sa DOH hospitals," he said.

Among the symptoms of the new infection are difficulty in breathing and kidney failure, which is the unique characteristic of the recent cases.

Because of this, Tayag advised Filipinos experiencing coughs and [general body] weakness to seek treatment at a hospital.

On the other hand, he reminded doctors and medical personnel at hospitals to practice hygiene by washing their hands.

"Sa hospital dapat maagap sa paghugas ng kamay. Maraming sinisipon at inuubo, mag-practice na tayo ng hygiene," he said.

Tayag also admitted there is little information about the disease at this time since there have only been three recorded cases of the newest infection so far.

"Hindi pa malinaw kasi tatlong kaso ang nare-report (We still don't have a very clear picture because there have so far been only three reported cases)," he said.

No comments: