A monitor connected to a body temperature scanner shows passengers arriving from South Korea at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday. The WHO said the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea is the largest seen outside the Middle East. (MNS photo)

A monitor connected to a body temperature scanner shows passengers arriving from South Korea at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday. The WHO said the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea is the largest seen outside the Middle East. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health confirmed Monday that a foreigner from the Middle East who recently arrived in the Philippines has tested positive for MERS-Cov.

Health Secretary Janette Garin said the 36-year-old foreigner was admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine last Saturday after showing symptoms of MERS-CoV infection on July 2.

“He was tested on July 4. At 5 p.m., the test yielded a positive result,” she said in a press briefing.

She said the patient’s viral load is low, which meant that the patient could be recovering. She said the patient had no diabetes or high-blood pressure.

One person who came in contact with the patient is in isolation after manifesting symptoms of MERS infection.

A DOH task force is now doing contact tracing after the latest finding.

It was the second case of MERS-COV in the Philippines. The first case was discovered in January, a Filipino nurse working in Saudi Arabia who survived.

Garin noted that there is no documented community transmission of the MERS coronavirus, saying that most infections happen inside a hospital.

“Health workers are usually at risk. Transmission also occurs during repeated and close contact with a family member or a household companion,” she said.

The health secretary said the World Health Organization has not recommended the imposition of a travel, trade or screening restrictions related to MERS.

Travelers are advised to maintain a high level of vigilance especially those coming from MERS-CoV infected countries. (MNS)