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Saturday, May 3, 2014

DOH cites OFW for heeding MERS-CoV alert

The Department of Health-6 said the OFW from Jeddah Saudi Arabia who sought consultation here after feeling feverish is a model for others in heeding the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) alert.

Dr. Glen Alonsabe, DOH regional epidemiologist, said that the OFW, a female nurse, went to the Iloilo Doctors’ Hospital and later was placed on quarantine in government facility at the Western Visayas Medical Center for swab tests to be confirmed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, in two or three days.

Alonsabe said in a radio interview that the nurse was recently declared negative of the virus, as confirmed in the results of the swab test.

“The feverish feeling may be due to changes in the weather,” Alonsabe opined.

Earlier, Alonsabe appealed to the public to stop MERS-CoV scare through circulation of unverified text messages which followed news of the OFW’s seeking consultation.

He warned that rumors could harm a person’s reputation, so the DOH is working to verify all information, and is open to queries.

“So far, there is no confirmed positive case of MERS-CoV in Western Visayas, but this should not leave us complacent,” Alonsave said.

He added that all Ilonggo passengers of Etihad Airlines flight EY 0424 that arrived in the country on April 15, were negative for the virus.

MERS-CoV is a communicable disease which may be passed on to another through close contact with a person tested positive.

Other than fever, the symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, and runny nose after two weeks of exposure.

DOH still recommends personal hygiene, hand washing and covering of mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. (ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

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