SARS: HK OFW SICK IN TUGUEGARAO

Manila, April 30, 2003 -- An overseas Filipino worker who returned two 
weeks ago from Hong Kong has exhibited symptoms of the pneumonia-like 
disease and is now suspected to have been infected with SARS.

The suspected SARS case was found in her hometown, Cabagan, Isabela. A 
source said the OFW was placed in an isolation ward in a hospital in 
Tuguegarao City.

"It's not yet confirmed but the symptoms are there," he said. Local 
authorities are not disclosing the identity of the suspected SARS victim to 
avoid panic in her hometown similar to what happened in Alcala, Pangasinan, 
the hometown of SARS fatalities Adela Catalon, a nursing attendant from 
Toronto, Canada, and her father Mauricio.

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano Jr., who hails from Cabagan, confirmed the 
suspected SARS case in his district but said authorities are doing 
everything to stop the spread of the disease.

He said police have cordoned off the house of the suspected victim. At 
least four houses would be quarantined, television reports quoted local 
officials.

The source said Isabela authorities have ordered the transfer of the OFW 
either to the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila or the Research Institute for 
Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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