Pinoy nurse from Saudi positive for MERS-CoV

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 A San Lazaro Hospital desk girl wears a protective mask after Health Secretary Enrique Ona revealed on Wednesday that MERS-CoV asymptomatic case from Damman, Saudi Arabia, entered the country on August 29.  PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

A San Lazaro Hospital desk girl wears a protective mask after Health Secretary Enrique Ona revealed on Wednesday that MERS-CoV asymptomatic case from Damman, Saudi Arabia, entered the country on August 29. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

A Filipino nurse who came home from Saudi Arabia tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or the MERS-CoV, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.

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The DOH said in a statement the nurse, whom it identified only as “AP,” arrived in Manila from Damman on a Saudia Airlines flight on Aug. 29. With her was another Filipino nurse, “CB.”

AP stayed at CB’s house in Bulacan before flying home to South Cotabato.

CB learned however that AP was found positive for MERS-CoV while still in Saudi Arabia but had left before the test results were released.

CB became worried after her two grandchildren developed fever. The three of them, together with 10 relatives who fetched CB from the airport, went to the Lung Center of the Philippines to be checked. All tested negative for the disease.

CB provided the DOH information on AP’s whereabouts. On Wednesday, AP was located in South Cotabato and was admitted at the Southern Philippines Medical Center. She was asymptomatic upon admission. Her specimen was sent to the Research Institute for
Tropical Medicine for further testing and confirmation.

MERSCOV is a highly fatal respiratory illness presenting an influenza-like illness characterized by fever, cough, and often with diarrhea.

The DOH said there is limited data on its transmission but it is possible through direct contact of household members and healthcare providers exposed to confirmed cases. Signs and symptoms of infection with Ebola virus include: fever, headache, intense weakness, joint and muscle pains and sore throat; this is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding; sometimes, rash, red eyes, hiccups and bleeding from body openings may be seen in some patients.

The DOH said the government is trying its best to locate all passengers on board the Saudia Airlines, including domestic flight to South Cotabato.

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