The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday confirmed that another Filipino peacekeeper who recently came home from Ebola-hit Liberia and who suddenly developed sore throat is being closely monitored.
“Yes, there was one peacekeeper, who was examined to have sore throat. Initial treatment through antibiotics was already given him,” acting Health Secretary Janette Garin said in a press briefing.
“We are currently closely observing him,” she told reporters, adding that if the patient will develop fever, he may be taken to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, which is capable of handling infectious diseases.
Last week, one of the 133 peacekeepers under quarantine at the Caballo Island exhibited some symptoms like fever, chills and body malaise which prompted the DOH to transfer him to the RITM for confirmatory tests.
The test results released on Saturday, however, found the patient negative from Ebola but was diagnosed with malaria.
The soldier is currently being provided with continuous medication at the RITM.
Garin said they are on 24/7 alert and are monitoring the daily reports on even minor illnesses or health conditions of the more than 130 Filipino peacekeepers staying in the quarantine site.
The peacekeepers returned from Liberia last week and were immediately transported to Caballo Island for a three-week quarantine in compliance with the government protocol to maintain the country’s Ebola-free status.
Garin said doctors are closely monitoring the temperatures of the soldiers and very watchful of the presence of even small illnesses like toothache and sore throat. Symptoms of Ebola may include fever, vomiting, dry cough, sore throat, stomach pain, rashes, hiccups, red eyes and internal and external bleeding.
Garin, who recently visited the quarantine soldiers in Caballo Island along with Armed Forces chief Pio Catapang, reiterated that the disease is only contagious when there are serious manifestations of the symptoms.
“While it is contagious, it is not an easy virus to catch and not airborne,” she explained.