Two suspect cases test negative for avian flu

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The Department of Health (DoH) on Wednesday said laboratory test results released by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) showed that the two suspect cases of farmers in San Luis, Pampanga, with flu-like symptoms turned out as negative.

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DoH Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag said they have been informed of the negative test results of the suspect cases.

Tayag added that the two farm workers were discharged from the hospital. “They have already been told to rest at home,” he said.

The Health official added that the two were also advised to continue taking Oseltamivir capsules.

Earlier, the DoH said there were two suspected cases of avian flu infection being monitored in San Luis.

Tayag said cross-infection of chicken to human is rare while human to human infection is “with great difficulty” as studies on the disease show that among a million exposed in other countries, only 200 were infected by avian flu.

The avian flu strains that have been known to jump to humans are the H5N1 and H5N7 sub-types.

The strain that hit the chickens of San Luis was avian influenza type A sub-type H5 as confirmed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanual Piñol in a news briefing.

The Health department is yet to receive a report from the Agriculture department on what exact strain affected the chickens in Pampanga.

A person infected with avian flu shows some of these symptoms: mild conjunctivitis or swelling of the eyes and severe pneumonia.

Farm workers on Monday reported flu-like symptoms after being interviewed by the RITM.

They were taken to an undisclosed hospital where they were subjected to nasal and throat swabs.

After 48 hours of monitoring, they were confirmed negative for bird flu.

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