MANILA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine health authorities on Monday confirmed five more cases of the A/H1N1 influenza in the country, bringing the Philippines' tally of this new strain of the flu virus to 21.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told a press conference here that among the five latest cases, three were Filipinos returning from the United States while two other locals might have contracted the virus late last month in a local wedding where two infected patients from Taiwan were present. Ages of the latest flu patients range from 19 to 51.
Duque said the five infected patients remain confined in undisclosed medical facilities while the authorities are tracing their close contacts.
Since May 1, the Philippine health authorities had put more than 315 people who developed suspected symptoms under observation. A total of 262 patients had been cleared and discharged while 30 others remain quarantined pending laboratory results.
Duque said seven of the 21 confirmed cases have recovered and show negative results in latest influenza A/H1N1 tests. All of them will be discharged from hospital soon.
Also on Monday, the Department of Education joined the health authorities in activating an alarm system to monitor possible outbreaks in schools as classes resumed for most Philippine schools after an almost two-month summer break.
Measures are taken in schools nation-wide to prevent large-scale flu outbreaks, Duque said, and the authorities will only order class suspension once the flu virus spreads in communities.
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