PHL is MERS-CoV-free as all Etihad 0424 passengers now cleared – DOH

By , on May 7, 2014

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MANILA (PNA) — The 14-day incubation period for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has long ended without any passenger, who arrived in the Philippines via Etihad Airways flight 0424 last April 15, having acquired the dreaded disease.

Out of the 414 passengers in the said flight, 401 were tested negative for MERS-CoV, Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona told reporters in an ambush interview.

It can be recalled that one passenger, a returning overseas Filipino worker who worked as a nurse in Abu Dhabi, was initially tested positive for the virus.

He was said to have been exposed to a Filipino patient who died from the disease in a hospital where he worked.

The nurse was placed in quarantine and after five days and two tests was eventually tested negative. He has since been released.

Meanwhile, the DOH also contact-traced the 413 passengers who were in the same flight as the nurse to check if they also acquired the virus.

While only 401 out of the 414 were tested, DOH MERS-CoV spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said that since the remaining 13 showed no signs of symptoms of the disease, they were as good as cleared. (PNA) SCS/ANP