An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) upon his arrival in the country this Tuesday, April 15.
The OFW, a nurse, who is currently quarantined, had gotten in contact with a Filipino paramedic who had died from the virus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Despite not displaying any symptoms of the virus, four people from the OFW’s family, along with five of those who came to fetch him at the airport, were also quarantined, according to Health Secretary Enrique Ona.
Said Ona in an interview with abs-cbnnews.com, “Since they are symptom-less, we are just doing some preventive measures. We will give them medicines once they exhibit symptoms.” MERS-Cov has an incubation period of 10 to 14 days.
The Department of Health (DOH) is also trying to locate the whereabouts of the 12 passengers who were with the OFW in the airplaine to ensure as well if they had been exposed to the virus.
MERS-Cov, a type of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), typically manifests with the following symptoms: fever, diarrhea, cough and shortness of breath. Currently, there is no vaccine against this particular virus.
Due to this case, hospitals have been instructed to immediately notify DOH should any patient exhibit the symptoms associated with MERS-CoV. No travel restrictions have been implemented as well, though Filipinos traveling to the Middle East have been urged to avoid contact with individuals with the aforementioned symptoms. They were also advised to wash their hands frequently, as a precautionary measure.