PH also asks Beijing for details on flu cases

PH also asks Beijing for details on flu cases

/ 05:36 AM November 25, 2023

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said it has asked its Chinese counterparts for more details on the reported spike of respiratory illnesses in recent weeks in China.

In a statement to reporters, the DOH said that its epidemiology bureau “has reached out to the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point of China to request for more information regarding the matter.”

Under the IHR, World Health Organization (WHO) members are required to report any potential public health emergencies in order to prevent spread of diseases and maintain international travel and trade. China, which is part of the WHO in Western Pacific, is a state party to the IHR.


READ: WHO asks China for details on outbreaks of respiratory illness


It also noted that DOH’s epidemiology bureau is “closely monitoring” the reported clusters of cases, including pneumonia, in China.

In the Philippines, confirmed cases of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) “are still on an uptrend, but at a slower pace,” according to the health department. It has yet to release updated numbers, but the Oct. 28 data of the epidemiology bureau showed that ILI infections soared by 49 percent this year to 171,067.

Official request

The uptick in respiratory illness among children in China prompted the WHO this week to make an official request from health authorities there to provide “detailed information” on the cases.

On Friday, the WHO said that it was able to meet with Chinese health officials through a teleconference, where the requested data indicated “an increase in outpatient consultations and hospital admissions of children due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae since May, and respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus and influenza virus since October.”

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common bacterial infection that typically affects the younger population, it noted.

Among the preventive measures the WHO recommended to people in China were vaccination, physical distancing from individuals who are sick, wearing of face masks, ensuring good ventilation and regular hand washing.

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TAGS: China, DOH, Health, Illness

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