PHL has only one confirmed MERS-CoV case — DOH

By , on February 17, 2015


Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy (center) confirms that a Filipina nurse who returned from Saudi Arabia on Feb. 1 tested positive with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERSCoV) during a press conference on Wednesday (Feb. 11, 2015). He said the nurse is under observation at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City and contact-tracing of her co-passengers in the plane is being done to ensure that local transmission of the disease can be prevented. At left is DOH Undersecretary Nemesio T. Gako. (PNA photo by Leilani S. Junio)
Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy (center) confirms that a Filipina nurse who returned from Saudi Arabia on Feb. 1 tested positive with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERSCoV) during a press conference on Wednesday (Feb. 11, 2015). He said the nurse is under observation at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City and contact-tracing of her co-passengers in the plane is being done to ensure that local transmission of the disease can be prevented. At left is DOH Undersecretary Nemesio T. Gako. (PNA photo by Leilani S. Junio)

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday that there is only one confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) in the country, as the three other persons earlier considered as “patients under investigation” (PUIs) all tested negative after a round of tests.

“So as of this moment, we only have one case which is closely monitored, our index case — the Filipina nurse who tested positive with MERS-CoV,” Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy, DOH spokesperson, said in a press briefing-update on MERS-CoV held at Annabel’s Restaurant in Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City and spearheaded by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

According to Dr. Lee Suy, three other suspected cases that the DOH had been closely monitoring were all declared negative based on the results of the series of confirmatory laboratory tests conducted on them to further check if the symptoms they were exhibiting earlier were connected with MERS-CoV.

Lee-Suy said that based on the tests, one of the three PUIs had a pneumonia problem.

“We are addressing right now the pneumonia problem of the said patient. But to make it clear, the case is not MERS-CoV,” he stressed.

He also said that the index case or the pregnant nurse who arrived from Saudi Arabia last Feb. 1 and tested positive with MERS-CoV is currently under stable condition and they are seeing no threat on her pregnancy as well.

“We are closely monitoring her. As of now, she is not showing any signs of stress. We have referred her to an obstetrician (doctor specialist in the management of pregnancy, labor and birth) to monitor as well as take care of her pregnancy,” he added.

Dr. Lee-Suy also said that continuous tests will be conducted on the nurse at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) until they arrive at a negative result.

“Our indicator will be once the result of the test yields negative. As of now, based on the sputum test conducted, she is still positive with MERS-CoV,” he added.

He cited that the woman will be discharged or allowed to go back to her family once the confirmatory tests yield negative result to ensure both her safety and those of the people who will be around her at home and in the community.