MERS-CoV Case in the Philippines is Reported to WHO


On July 6, 2015, the IHR National Focal Point of the Philippines notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of one laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

The case is a 36-year-old male from Finland. Between June 10 and 18, he traveled to Saudi Arabia and stayed in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. The patient had cough before travellng to Saudi Arabia; however, while in Saudi Arabia, he did not feel unwell and did not seek medical attention. Investigation of history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms is ongoing.

On June 18, the patient left Saudi Arabia, stayed overnight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and travelled to Manila, Philippines on June 19. He was asymptomatic when he left Saudi Arabia. From June 20 to 22, the patient was in the areas of Taguig and Makati in Manila. Between June 23 and 24, he traveled from Manila to Penang, Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On June 25, the patient traveled from Penang, Malaysia to Singapore and from Singapore to Manila. During his travels from Malaysia to Singapore and back to Manila, he was asymptomatic.

On June 30, the patient developed fever and cough and on July 2 he visited a hospital where he had specimens taken for laboratory testing. Against medical advice, he decided to leave the hospital. The patient stayed home on July 3; on July 4, he returned to the hospital to obtain the results of the tests but the clinic was closed. Then, the patient went to another hospital where he was seen by healthcare professionals. Once the patient tested positive for MERS-CoV on July 4, he was brought by ambulance to a third hospital and placed in isolation. Currently, the patient is afebrile and remains in stable condition.

The Philippines Department of Health (DoH) is carrying out active tracing of household and healthcare contacts. The DoH is also actively tracing all passengers on the flights from Singapore to Manila.

The national authorities of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been informed. Investigations on the possible exposure and contact tracing are ongoing. Enhanced disease surveillance is being implemented.

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,367 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 487 related deaths.

Source: WHO

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