Tuesday, 03 October 2023 02:47


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There’s no evidence of any new cases caused by the Nipah virus in Cagayan de Oro City nor anywhere in the country so there’s no need to suspend face-to-face classes, the City Health Office (CHO) said on Monday.
‘The PhilCZ (Philippine Inter-Agency Committee for Zoonoses) clarifies that as of Sept. 29, 2023 no positive case for Nipah virus has been detected in the country…there’s no need for suspension of classes or work at this time,’ said City Health Officer Dr. Rachel Dilla, who read a Sept. 29 PhilCZ advisory during Monday’s COVID-19 press briefing.
Dr. Dilla said this days after issuing a statement last week discounting the possibility of a Nipah virus outbreak following a decision by private universities to suspend classes. Their decision stemmed from reports that several students in one school fell ill to flu-like symptoms.
The CHO stance was supported by the Department of Health (DOH-10) regional office.
Dr. Dilla confirmed that the Nipah virus—which caused concern following an outbreak in a remote village in India—was commonly found in fruit bats and causes illness in pigs, horses, dogs and people through direct contact with infected blood, urine, feces, respiratory droplets and saliva or consumption of contaminated food products.
‘(Nipah virus) infection may display flu-like symptoms but include complications such as the fatal encephalitis and respiratory illness,’ Dr. Dilla said.
In response to the suspension of classes, Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy issued an executive order reminding the public to observe minimum public health protocols such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing.
CHO resident epidemiologist Dr. Teodulfo Retuya Jr echoed Dr. Dilla’s statements, saying the last recorded case of Nipah virus infection occurred somewhere in Mindanao in 2014 and that no new case had been reported since.
‘Although we can take a sample of (suspected cases) we have to send samples to Manila which had a turnaround time of one to two weeks,’ he said.
What is confirmed, Dr. Retuya said, is the continued presence of COVID-19 in the country. ‘We still have COVID-19 to think about and yet here we are already alarmed about Nipah virus (which had yet to be proven),’ he said.
Still, Dr. Dilla advised the public to stay away from known breeding grounds of bats and avoid eating foods that may contain bite marks of animals. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)