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Classes in Oro suspended as spread of ‘Nipah’ virus feared


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Classes in Cagayan de Oro City were suspended Wednesday (Sept. 27, 2023) as report about “Nipah virus” outbreak in schools here infected students and school personnel.

“Nipah” Virus or NiV 2023 is acquired through contact in infected animals like pigs and consuming fruits partially eaten by fruit bats. Health officials said that there are no vaccines for the prevention of Nipah disease.

Aude Borres, Assistant School Superintendent, of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Northern Mindanao, said that a Memorandum Order was issued Wednesday afternoon suspending classes in schools were widespread coughs and colds among students were reported.

He said that the Memorandum Order also encouraged schools to adopt the Covid-19 virus health protocol. The health protocol encourages an individual to wash hands, social distancing, avoiding crowd, and the use of face mask.

The illness initially presents as 3-14 days of fever and headache, signs of respiratory illness, such as cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.

Borres said that the modular classes will be implemented while the memorandum on suspension of classes remains in effect. “The issuance of the memorandum on the suspension of classes in Cagayan de Oro was agreed among DeEd officials in a meeting Wednesday morning,” Borres said.

In the absence of Nipah cases in the country, local health officials allayed fears of Nipah outbreak here. Nipah was first detected in Malaysia in 1998. Universities and colleges in Cagayan de Oro City suspended classes ahead of the DepEd Memo on Wednesday as the “flu-like” symptoms spread in universities and colleges infecting students and school personnel here.

School officials said they were suspending classes to disinfect the entire school campus prohibiting students and personnel enter in the school premises. Borres said that school administrators have the authority to suspend classes when they feel it is necessary. -0-


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