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Op-Ed: A (H1N1) virus and Pacmania : Which is Stronger?

By Maria Narissa Aranzanso     May 13, 2009 in Health
Manny Pacquiao and his family went home to the Philippines a few days ago with Team Pacquiao from the US totally paying no attention to World Health Organization and the Department of Health's advise.
The two agencies advised Pacquiao and his group to undergo self-quarantine first for one week in Las Vegas to ensure that they do not carry the dreaded A(H1N1) virus. However, as reported by Yahoo News on May 9, 2009, Philippine champion Pacquiao gets hero's welcome at home last Friday.
In Nevada, where Las Vegas is, there were reported cases of A(H1N1) virus afflictions. In fact, in the H1N1 Nevada update last May 12, 2009, there are 16 confirmed cases already. We cannot therefore ignore the fact that Pacquiao and his group could be afflicted, too, with the virus. From his training in Nevada to his winning fight against Ricky Hatton, fans and spectators kept coming just to see him. This, with no reports that they were assessed before approaching the Philippine's boxing champ.
The never ending arrival of the crowd of admirers even in his hotel became the reason for Pacquiao to decide on going home to the Philippines. He believed that there was greater chance of being afflicted if he stayed longer. In fact, no one in his group had fever, cough and colds before and when they arrived in the Philippines. He even stressed that they would be willing to undergo procedures like the thermal scanner which all individuals from abroad underwent and is undergoing,
When he arrived in the Philippines, the fans crowded around Pacquiao seemingly unaware or unaffected of the news about A(H1N1) virus that he might be a carrier. The scenario seemed to test which was stronger - the virus or the Pacman fever.
In connection to this, Environment Secretary Atienza's tirade to the media singling out Manny Pacquiao is uncalled for. Pacquiao' s defender must have forgotten that the issue would not only involve Pacquiao but the many people who could possibly be affected in case the country's boxing champ would be confirmed afflicted with the virus.
What is left for us Filipinos is to cling to hope and prayers that no one among Pacquiao. his family and his group are carriers, and that Pacmania is stronger than the virus onslaught.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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