Philippines quarantines man over MERS fears

April 16, 2014

Philippine health authorities said Wednesday they have quarantined a Filipino who arrived from the Middle East because he tested positive for the deadly MERS virus.

The man, who arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday, is not yet showing symptoms but has been isolated in hospital, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.

The Health Department is also quarantining the man's family and tracing the people who had contact with him during his flight to see if they may also be infected with the MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, he added.

"He can infect people so that is why he is quarantined or in isolation," Ona said in a television interview.

Ona said the man, whom he did not name, was reportedly a hospital worker in the United Arab Emirates and may have had contact with someone in that country who died of the MERS virus.

The Filipino was one of those who had a blood sample taken after contact with the deceased, Ona said.

"But before the results were released, he returned to this country. When he was here, the test results came out and it was positive so they informed him at once and alerted us as well," the said.

An epidemiologist is being sent to the Middle East to check on the spread of the MERS virus, especially whether it has infected some of the millions of Filipinos working there, he added.

He said the government was trying to confirm reports that a Filipino nurse had died from the virus in the Middle East.

The health secretary urged anyone who had travelled to the Middle East and developed fevers recently to see a doctor.

The Saudi health ministry said Wednesday that a man had died from MERS in the western city of Jeddah, bringing the death toll in the worst-affected country to 71.

The World Health Organisation said Friday that it had been told of 212 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 88 had proved fatal.

The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

Explore further: Saudi records 60th MERS virus death

Related Stories

Saudi records 60th MERS virus death

February 16, 2014

Saudi health authorities have announced the death of a young man from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the kingdom to 60.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 63

March 15, 2014

Saudi health authorities said Saturday a young man had died from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the worst-hit country to 63.

Filipino paramedic dies of MERS in UAE

April 11, 2014

The United Arab Emirates announced Friday that one of six Filipino paramedics in the UAE who have been infected by the MERS coronavirus has died from the respiratory disease.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi, 8 infected

April 13, 2014

A foreigner has died from MERS while eight people including five health workers have been infected in the Saudi city of Jeddah, where the spread of the coronavirus among medics has sparked panic.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi Arabia (Update)

April 14, 2014

A foreigner has died from MERS in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Monday.

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.