New Strain of Coronavirus Found in Cebu City

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New strain of coronavirus
Photo from Sunstar

The Department of Health (DOH) revealed a new strain of coronavirus from a five-year old boy from Cebu City who travelled recently in Wuhan, China.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III stated in a press conference that the child’s sample which was test was found positive for the non-specific pancoronavirus assay.

“The patient as of today is still experiencing cough but is currently stable and afebrile. Samples from the patient were first tested at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and yielded negative results for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (SARS-CoV),” DOH report stated.

To identify the specific new strain of coronavirus, the specimen of the child is sent to Australia for further examinations.

Moreover, DOH continue to investigate the child who manifested fever, throat irritation, and cough prior to entering the Philippines.

The case of the child was reported to the Regional Epidemiology & Surveillance Unit of Central Visayas Center for Health Development and the child was endorsed for admission.

“DOH is also monitoring three individuals with flu-like symptoms upon entering the country via the Kalibo International Airport from China, but without any history of travel to Wuhan and without any known contact with a confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) case, Severe Acute Respiratory Illness case, or sick animals. Throat samples from these patients were already sent to RITM for testing. All three cases are currently well and are no longer manifesting any symptoms,” report said.

Respectively, border surveillance is being improved by the bureau of quarantine, alongside with the airport and airline authorities. The community surveillance of Epidemiology Bureau is also being strengthened.

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Further, coronavirus laboratory testing capacity, hospital preparedness, rapid response, and risk communication and information dissemination of DOH are also being enhanced.

“DOH is also closely monitoring individuals who manifested signs of respiratory infection and had a history of travel to China and is coordinating with WHO and China Center for Disease Control for updates,” report revealed.

“I encourage the health workers to be vigilant and take extra precautionary measures when in contact with patients with acute respiratory infection, especially those with travel history to China,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.


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Nath Mindanao

An Agribusiness economist. I scribble more about agriculture, politics and economics.