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)