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DOH Issues Stricter Surveillance Of Travelers From China After Mystery Pneumonia Cases Rise

The mystery pneumonia brought back fears of a resurgence of SARS.

The Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) was given orders by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to practice stricter surveillance of incoming travelers from China after an outbreak of a number of reported cases of a mystery viral pneumonia in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

This is in response to fears about the resurgence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS, a viral flu-like disease that has taken the lives of more than 600 people in Hong Kong and mainland China a decade ago.

Hong Kong has also started a "serious response" level to the outbreak on January 4 in response to the cases.

Health authorities from Wuhan confirmed on January 3 that there are 44 cases of a mystery pneumonia disease in the city. The health commission has already placed the patients in isolated observation and has also put anyone who has come in contact with them under their watch.

The Department of Health (DOH) has assured the public that it will be watching "all seaports and airports" to make sure that the case doesn’t cross Philippine waters as per a Rappler report. Health Secretary Duque also recommended those who recently traveled to China to immediately seek medical consultation if they start experiencing flu-like symptoms.

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Duque assured that the BOQ will be on high alert for travelers exhibiting fever and other signs of respiratory infection.

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