DOH-10 confirms Alpha variant in Valencia City

By : Mindanao Today/06:41:39am 07/31/2021


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Department of Health-10 epidemiologist Dr. Dave Mendoza has announced that they are backtracking their search for the origin of the Covid-19 Alpha variant detected in Valencia City almost a month ago.

Dr. Gary Tabios Jr., Bukidnon provincial health officer, has confirmed the discovery of a single Alpha variant case that detected in Valencia City last week.

“The case is non-ROF, no travel history,” Tabios said in a text message to this reporter.

Mendoza said that the Alpha variant found in a six-year-old child from Valencia could be a lone case of Covid-19 virus mutation.

“We are backtracking the exposure of the child,” Mendoza said.

He added that the DOH is considering the case as a local transmission, the child having an exposure to cases that leads to the mutation of the virus inside that patient’s body.

“All close contact of the child turned out negative of the virus. We are considering that this was a local transmission,” Mendoza said.

He said that contact tracing done on the minor showed that an uncle was the first to test positive but has since recovered.

All other close contacts of the child turned out negative or asymptomatic, but the city health office of Valencia is closely monitoring them.

“We don’t know yet when they are going to do the testing, if there are symptomatic, there will be repeat RT-PCR,” Mendoza added.

Mendoza added that they are having a hard time backtracking positive cases which connect to the child’s case.

“The child has exposure to an exposure to an exposure, so on and so forth,” Mendoza added.

“Backtracking is much more difficult than contact tracing, we will go back to months (of tracking),” Mendoza said.

He added that the child tested positive in June and the gnome samples were sent to the Philippine Gnome Center (PGC) at the Philippine General Hospital in the same month.

“The DOH may have seen clustering of cases in Valencia that is why it has sent samples (to PGC), and that’s where it tested positive for the Alpha variant,” Mendoza said.

The World Health Organization has classified each emerging variant as either a Variant of Concern (VOC) or a variant of Interest (VOI). The Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants fall under Variants of Concern.

WHO said that a variant of concern translates to a rise in transmissibility, an increase in a fatality, and a significant decrease in effectiveness of vaccines, therapy, and other health measures. (Bobby Lagsa)

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