Patient tests negative for MERS-CoV: DOH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2019 07:16 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2019 11:26 AM

MANILA - The patient with suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has tested negative for the illness, the Department of Health-Calabarzon said Wednesday.

The 47-year-old male patient arrived in the Philippines last Feb. 14 from Saudi Arabia, Health Chief Francisco Duque III earlier said.

He was first rushed to the Laguna Doctors Hospital and immediately transferred to RITM, according to DOH-Calabarzon director Dr. Edgardo Janairo. 

Rumors earlier claimed that a patient died of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the hospital in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, which Janairo denied. 

Both SARS and MERS-CoV are contagious respiratory diseases, with the former originating in Hong Kong and China, and the latter in the Middle East, said Janairo. 

The emergency room of the Laguna Doctors Hospital's emergency room, where the suspected MERS-CoV patient was first rushed, was temporarily closed for decontamination, said Janairo. 

The emergency room is located away from the main entrance so those visiting the hospital should not be wary, he said. 

MERS-CoV symptoms include fever with cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, or difficulty of breathing. Other accompanying symptoms are fatigue, headache, chills, vomiting, or diarrhea, according to the health department.

Janairo advised the public to wear face masks to avoid catching respiratory diseases. --Report from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News