In a follow-up to the report Wednesday of the nurse who tested positive Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) officials say they are doing everything to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Republic of the Philippines

According to health officials, the patient arrived in Manila on board Saudia flight 860 on Feb. 1. On the next day the patient presented symptoms of difficulty breathing, fever and cough. The patient consulted with a private physician and was subsequently admitted to the hospital.

On February 8, the patient’s condition did not show improvement. The individual was referred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) laboratory testing for MERS-CoV was performed. The next day, testing confirmed positive for the virus.

The Filipina nurse is now in stable condition but continues to receive medication and is closely being watched since she is pregnant.

Contact tracing of other passengers on board Saudia 860 was initiated; contact tracing in the private medical facility was done.

According to DOH acting chief Janette Garin, a total of 56 close contacts were located; 11 of which manifested symptoms and were subsequently admitted at RITM last February 10-11. All 56 persons yielded a NEGATIVE result in the first round of tests using nose and throat swab samples. However, the 11 symptomatic patients will undergo another round of tests using sputum and rectal swab samples.

Among the 220 passengers on board Saudia 860, ninety two have been located and agreed to be tested. The remaining passengers are encouraged to contact the DOH hotline (02)7111001 or (02)7111002.


Image/Philippines DOH
Image/Philippines DOH