By Mae Singuay
The Department of Education (DepEd)-Division of Negros Occidental has once again reminded students and school faculty to wear face masks following an increase in influenza cases in the province.
Ian Arnold Arnaiz, DepEd-NegOcc public information officer, said the face mask policy was recommended by their medical team as a preventive measure to protect students and teachers from communicable diseases while attending classes.
Several private schools in Bacolod City conducted online classes after some students experienced flu and respiratory illnesses.
The Negros Occidental High School has started requiring students and staff to wear face masks after the school management noted an increase in flu cases in some learners.
Likewise, the Efiginio Enrica Lizares Memorial School in Negros Occidental’s Talisay City has also required their students to wear face masks, especially those who exhibit flu symptoms, such as fever, cough and sore throat.
Arnaiz said students who don’t feel well are immediately sent home so that they can’t infect others inside the campus.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu viruses mainly spread through droplets when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks.
The time from exposure and infection with flu to when symptoms begin is about two days, but can range from about one to four days.
Earlier, the Bacolod City Health Office (CHO) had not recorded confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus in the locality, after reports that some private schools have opted to hold classes online.
They reminded the public to still wear face masks in enclosed spaces to prevent the spread of diseases.
Grace Tan, head of the CHO-Environment Sanitation Division, said they are monitoring several reported cases of respiratory illnesses in the city, based on Republic Act (RA) 11332, which mandates the reporting of notifiable diseases.
Tan said RA 11332 states that the general public or any institutions are obligated to report any supposed infection or incident which has the potential to cause outbreaks./MS, WDJ