No Nipah virus outbreak in CDO – DOH

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has dismissed as ”misinformation”reports of a Nipah virus outbreak in schools in Cagayan de Oro.

“The DOH officially maintains that there are no Nipah virus cases in the country,” the DOH-Northern Mindanao office said in a statement.

Earlier reports said a Nipah virus outbreak had affected students and school personnel in Cagayan de Oro.

Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus, meaning it can spread between animals and people.

While some students and teachers in Cagayan de Oro manifested symptoms of the illness, the DOH said it is not clear whether a particular virus is to blame.

“Despite the fact that the Nipah virus is new to us, this is not the case in other countries like India and Malaysia, where it has been reported to affect humans and animals and caused serious illnesses and even death,” the DOH regional office said.

Pigs, horses as well as saliva, excrement and blood extracts from  fruit-eating bats are sources of the Nipah virus transmission, the DOH said.

It advised the public to practice hand washing, proper use of face masks, proper ventilation, isolation of those with symptoms and other minimal public health standards to prevent the spread of infections.

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