MANILA – The husband of a Filipina nurse who has tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has also been admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) after officials observed that he was coughing.
“Nakita nga nating inuubo ‘yong kanyang asawa kaya pina-admit na rin po ito,” Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin told morning show Umagang kay Ganda on Thursday.
Garin also added that they are awaiting the lab test results of 47 other people who have come in contact with the nurse.
“’Yong mga nakasama niya sa bahay at sa mga napuntahan niya, sinusuri na sila. Mamayang mga alas singko ng hapon, we have 47 na tinitingnan na lalabas ‘yong resulta.”
As for the passengers who were on the same February 1 flight to the Philippines as the nurse, Garin said the Department of Health (DOH) is already getting in touch with them.
The health chief said her department is having a hard time reaching some of the passengers.
“Doon sa mga pasahero, kailangan pong makipag-uganayan sa pinakamalapit na opisina ng DOH or sa pinakamalapit na government hospital under ng DOH. Kapag may nararamdaman pong sintomas, agad pong magpunta sa RITM o sa Lung Center of the Philippines,” Garin said.
Garin added that the doctor handling the MERS-CoV patient in the RITM is not attending to other patients, as per DOH policy.
“Naka-PPE (personal protective equipment) po sila everytime we handle the patient,” Garin said.
Asked if MERS-CoV is highly contagious, she said, “Among health workers, yes. ‘Yong human-to-human transmission, may posibilidad pero hindi gaanong mataas.”
She said MERS-CoV human-to-human transmission may happen through respiratory droplets.
Garin explained that MERS-CoV evolved from the corona virus in 2012.
“It’s one of the emerging infectious diseases, at ang ikinababahala natin dito ay dati-rati galing sa hayop, natransmit sa tao. Ngayon may documented na human-to human transmission,” Garin said.
“Kaya kailangan itong maigting na pagbabantay at importante itong kooperasyon pa rin sa bawat pasyente na posibleng magka-MERS-CoV,” she added.
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