‘Bird Flu, Not Merscov, Killed Pinoy in China’
Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin on Monday said that the Filipino musician in China, who died on Valentine’s Day due to acute respiratory distress syndrome, turned out to be a case of avian influenza or bird flu.
Garin said the patient was initially considered the first possible case of Middle East Respiratory Sydrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), but later reclassified as bird flu upon review of his case profile.
Garin said that after feeling weak while in China where he worked for six years, the patient opted to return to Manila last February 9 to be with his family. Five days later, the patient died. He suffered cough, fever and stomach pains last February 10 and sought medical help the next day.
Because of the symptoms shown by the patient like fast progression of the disease plus the history of travel from China coupled with a history of being exposed to live poultry, Garin said they came to the conclusion that he died of bird flu.
Garin said it was likely the patient got the bird flu virus due to exposure to the bird-flu infected live chickens in a market in China.
She said no autopsy was conducted on the patient as he was immediately cremated to avert the spread of the virus.
Stressing that the death and cremation of the victim ended the possible spread of the virus, Garin allayed fears of bird flu transmission.
Garin added that the country remains bird-flu free.
With the international arrivals increasing, the DOH appealed to Filipinos around the world to be mindful of their families and their communities.
While the DOH, the Bureau of Quarantine, the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine are actively coordinating public health actions, the responsibility of each person is important, the Health chief said.