Visitor dies due to MERS—Garin

THE Department of Health confirmed on Saturday the death of a 63-year-old male foreigner who apparently contracted the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus.

Health Secretary Janette L. Garin said that the foreigner showed symptoms of MERS-CoV, but the authorities could definitively confirm he had the deadly disease because his body had already been treated with formalin after his death.

“We are considering the case as ‘probably caused’ by MERS-CoV,” Garin said, adding that the foreigner arrived in the country from Jeddah on Sept. 17 and started to display MERS symptoms on Sept. 26.

“We urge the public to be vigilant to make sure that MERS-CoV has a limited presence in our country,” she said.

“What is important is to report to the nearest hospital if you experience flu-like symptoms and a history of travel to the Arabian Peninsula or possible exposure to a MERS-CoV infected patient.”

He was admitted in an undisclosed private hospital on Sept. 28, but his condition deteriorated and was pronounced dead on Sept. 29, Garin said.

In addition, the patient failed to recover due to myocardial or heart infection, she said.

Garin described the case as an “extraordinary one” and they will have to discuss the actual cause of death with the World Health Organization because of the absence of confirmatory tests.

To ensure that MERS-CoV is still in control, the DoH began contact tracing of the people who had close contact with the foreign national. Ninety-three of the 97 people who had close contact with him have been traced.

Eighty-one of those located were advised to confine themselves at home while 12 people were admitted and monitored through laboratory tests but sputum tests have so far yielded negative for MERS.


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