DoH: People who traveled, had COVID-19 exposure need testing

THE Department of Health yesterday said individuals who have travel history abroad or had direct exposure to COVID-19 cases on top of exhibiting symptoms of the disease should have themselves tested for COVID-19.

“There’s not much evidence that asymptomatic individual can contain the disease. Those who have travel history [abroad], those have the history of direct exposure to positive cases and experiencing signs and symptoms, they should go to the health facility to get themselves self-tested,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

“To those people who don’t have travel history abroad and were not exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 but [still] developed signs and symptoms, you have to monitor yourself at home. That’s very objective of contract tracing, we can be self-monitored,” she added.

According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 were fever, tiredness, and a dry cough, with some patients also experiencing aches and pains, nasal congestion, a runny nose, a sore throat or diarrhea.

WHO also urged those with a fever, cough, and having difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III reiterated that the best way to protect yourself from the disease is to keep yourself healthy and practice general preventive measures: proper handwashing, cough etiquette, and social distancing, adding that the fatalities had underlying medical conditions.

Available data show that elderly people (average of 66 years) and those with underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, and immunosuppression are vulnerable to this disease.

“We further urge those who are immune-compromised and are with existing health conditions to be more vigilant and avoid crowded areas and mass gatherings.” Duque said.