• Batangas monitors 3 suspected MERS cases

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    BATANGAS CITY, Batangas: Three patients confined at the Batangas Medical Center or BMC (formerly Batangas Regional Hospital) are now under observation for possible cases of MERS coronavirus.

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    According to Dr. Ramoncito Magnaye, medical director of BMC, the three patients have been isolated and are undergoing laboratory tests.

    “Hindi pa naman sigurado [We are not yet sure]. We are treating them symptomatically for flu, cough and other symptoms they might have,” Magnaye said.

    He refused to divulge the names of the three patients to the media, citing patient-doctor confidentiality.

    The MERS virus is considered a more fatal but less transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

    “The usual incubation period is 2 weeks but if the lab tests return negative, we can already send them home,” Magnaye said, referring to the three patients.

    The patients belong to the 400 passengers on board Etihad Airways who shared a flight with a man infected with MERS coronavirus and were asked by the Health department to immediately check in with authorities.

    The department said the move was a precautionary measure to ensure none of them was infected by the man carrying the virus.

    A source from the BMC said they are expecting two more patients to be admitted for laboratory testing.

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