The Department of Health (DOH) has mobilized Task Force MERSCoV to create heightened awareness and vigilance among our people on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERSCoV) and prevent the spread of this communicable disease.
Noong nakaraang sabado, 11:30 ng umaga, may natanggap na referral ang Research Institute for Tropical Medicine tungkol sa isang foreigner na may ubo at nanggaling sa Middle East. Bandang alas singko ng hapon, test yielded a positive result. Agad pong rumisponde ang pasyente at nailipat sa Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). Kasalukuyan siyang binabantayan, stable and very cooperative. Nakita pong mababa ang viral load ng pasyente. Ibig sabihin, hindi ganun kadami ang MERS coronavirus sa katawan nya at posibleng gumagaling na ito.
Sa kasalukuyan, in isolation din ang isa nyang close contact who developed cough. We are awaiting results of her test.
At the moment, Task Force MERSCoV has started contact tracing of people who were possibly exposed with the said foreigner during the history of travel here in the country. Those contacted will be monitored daily by the Regional Epidemiology Service Unit until they are cleared of a possible MERSCoV infection.
Ipinapaalala po natin sa publiko na walang documented community transmission ang MERS. Karaniwang nangyayari ang panghahawa sa loob ng hospital. Health workers are usually at risk. Transmission also occurs via repeated and close contact with a family member or a household companion.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the imposition of any travel, trade, or screening restrictions related to MERSCoV. However, it is advised that travelers, whether tourists or migrant workers, should maintain a high level of vigilance, especially those coming from MERSCoV infected countries.
The DOH reiterated its call to Filipinos who have returned recently from the Middle East to report to the nearest hospital if they experience symptoms of the MERS-Corona Virus which are similar to the indications of flu, including fever with cough, cold, or sneezing.
The Bureau of Quarantine is closely monitoring all points of entry in the Philippines to ensure the surveillance of all incoming travelers from different countries. They are calling to the public to honestly fill-up the health declaration checklist (yellow form) as an initial participation to prevent MERSCoV in entering the Philippines.
MERS-Corona Virus is a communicable disease, so it is important that we all work together to prevent the infection from spreading.
“There is no reason to panic and we appeal to the public to respect the privacy of the patient. What is important now is for us to continue practicing proper hygiene, having adequate rest, balanced diet, all leading to a good resistance; allow us to emphasize that vigilance is still needed. Every one of us has a significant role in fighting MERSCoV. Let us be pre-cautious, and adhere to the reminders given by the DOH. Your participation will save the lives of our families, loved ones and other people from MERSCoV. May papel kayo dito.” Garin concluded.
– DOH Philippines