PATIENTS under investigation (PUI) for 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) in Davao Region climbed to five.
Based on the 2019-nCoV Tracker of the Department of Health (DOH) as of 12 p.m. on February 3, it showed that from one, the PUI in the region has gone up to five.
The new PUIs are currently admitted in different hospitals in Davao Region while the first reported case of PUI was already discharged but is still being monitored while waiting for the test result to arrive from the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.
During a press conference on Friday, January 31, DOH Davao director Annabelle Yumang refused to identify the patients for their privacy. She also did not divulge what province and what hospital the PUI was brought to.
Yumang said a person will be classified as PUI if he/she has a travel history to Hubei Province in China, has a lower respiratory illness such as cough and fever, and has exposure to a person who has been infected with nCoV. Those who do not meet these criteria will fall under the person under monitoring (PUM) category.
As of Monday, February 3, DOH has recorded a total of 80 PUIs across the country including 67 who were admitted and 10 who have been discharged. One person died due to complication but he was not identified as 2019-nCoV-positive, while two cases were confirmed positive of the virus. The first death outside China was also reported in the Philippines.
DOH said coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to more serious infections such as Mers-CoV and Sars-CoV. Common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory illness such as cough, fever, shortness of breath and/or breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Meanwhile, health authorities assured that Davao Region is still virus-free. DOH has laid out stringent measures especially in the airports to prevent the spread of the virus. A temporary travel ban is in place for non-Filipino travelers arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Health experts are currently looking for vaccines for the new strain of coronavirus.
To date, DOH said there is no specific treatment for any coronavirus including the 2019-nCoV. However, many of the symptoms can be treated based on the patient’s clinical conditions. Supportive care for infected persons can also be highly effective.
Meanwhile, DOH advised the public to practice frequent and proper hand washing, practice proper cough etiquette, always bring a handkerchief/tissue, cover mouth and nose using handkerchief/tissue (sleeves or crook of the elbow may also be used to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing) to prevent acquiring the disease.
They also encouraged moving away from people when coughing, not to spit, throw away used tissues properly, always wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, use alcohol/sanitizer, avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals, ensure that food is well-cooked, and maintain a healthy lifestyle to mount up immunity to keep oneself protected against the virus.