Health department on alert vs mysterious disease from China

THE Department of Health (DOH) is now on alert over the potential entry of the reported mysterious disease from China.

In a statement, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III bared that he has already instructed the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to intensify the checking of all incoming travelers, especially those manifesting fever or signs of respiratory infection.

"The BOQ is on alert and is closely watching all seaports and airports in response to reports of a mysterious disease from China," said Duque.

Duque appealed to those that came from China to be vigilant over possible flu-like symptoms they may develop.

"We urge the public, especially those with history of travel from China, to seek immediate medical consult if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms," Duque said.

The DOH move comes on the heels of Chinese health authorities having launched an investigation into a mysterious viral pneumonia that has affected 44 individuals in China.

The outbreak has already sparked fears that the virus could be linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which first appeared in China in November 2002.

The health chief, then, encouraged the general public to stay healthy to prevent being afflicted with respiratory diseases.

"Let us embrace healthy lifestyles, practice proper hand hygiene, and observe cough etiquette to prevent transmission of respiratory infections," said Duque. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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