COTABATO CITY — Health authorities here are closely watching a 20-year-old girl from North Cotabato after she showed signs of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a health official said Saturday.
Dr. Helen Yambao, Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) chief, refused to name the girl who worked in Jordan as domestic helper and returned to the country on February 6.
“She has high fever and coughs so she went to the rural health unit in North Cotabato,” Yambao told reporters. Yambao also refused to name the girl’s hometown.
She was admitted to the CRMC Thursday.
Yambao said health workers have already taken sputum samples and throat swab samples which the CRMC sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila.
She said once the results come out and turned out to be positive, health workers will have to find the people she had close contact with like family members and rural health workers of the town she came from.
A 32 year-old Filipina nurse from Laguna was found to be positive with MERS-CoV and people she contacted with, including her husband, have also shown symptoms.
Health Sec. Janette Garin announced that 11 of the 56 people who had close contact with the nurse had to be subjected to a second round of testing.
According to Garin, the 56 people were mostly medical workers and staff of the Evangelista Medical Specialty Hospital in San Pedro, Laguna, where the nurse first sought medical attention on Feb. 2. She arrived in Manila from Saudi Arabia on February 1.
The nurse was among the 220 passengers of Saudi Airlines SV860 who arrived in Manila. So far, only 92 have been located by the government and have agreed to be tested.