DOH ENHANCES REPORTING FOR NEW CORONAVIRUS.
Press Release/18 February 2013:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged member states to report cases due to the new coronavirus. Presently, 12 respiratory cases including 5 deaths were already reported from several countries like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and the United Kingdom. The WHO also urges health authorities to correctly report it as new coronavirus and not to describe these cases as "SARS-like" so as to avoid confusion.
Respiratory illness due to the new coronavirus maybe suspected in patients admitted in the intensive care unit in which severe respiratory difficulty is the primary sign or symptom. A laboratory confirmation is necessary since other similar diseases due to various pathogens are also very common.
Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona today instructed hospitals to report these cases when they suspect them using a standard report form available at the National Epidemiology Center. Patient samples may be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for confirmatory testing.
Cases of new coronavirus may be spread through person to person transmission although it remains not to be highly contagious based on the few patients so far reported.
There are no travel restrictions to and from countries where these cases have been reported. The Bureau of Quarantine shall continue to routinely screen in-bound passengers, regardless of country of origin, in ports of entry, for any signs of illness that may require temporary isolation in a health facility or at home.
Frequent hand washing, observance of cough etiquette and social distancing may help prevent spread of this illness and similar illnesses.